KANSAS CITY, Kan. — As an outreach to parishes, Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas is hosting information sessions on end-of-life planning.
“Our goals are to inform people about our services with emphasis on the extraordinary value of being buried in a Catholic versus non-Catholic cemetery,” said Sharon Vallejo, president of Catholic Cemeteries. “We want the parish to be central to everyone’s funeral planning, and a Catholic cemetery to be the option people choose for burial or interment.”
The archdiocesan ministry invited clergy, parish funeral coordinators and church office staff to an inaugural information session in late August at Savior Pastoral Center. Parishes interested in presentations at their locations can contact Catholic Cemeteries to coordinate dates.
At the Aug. 30 session, Bryan Alonzo, director of sales and marketing, discussed the continuity of baptism, membership in a parish community and the choice of a Catholic cemetery for burial or interment. He pointed out that Catholic cemeteries have consecrated ground, and monuments and memorials reflective of the Catholic faith. Furthermore, they represent the belief that the deceased remain connected with the living in the communion of saints.
Alonzo detailed what he described as the “Catholic circle of protection” that encompasses the involvement of parishes, funeral homes and cemeteries at the time of a person’s death (at-need) or when arrangements have been preplanned (preneed). He shared a graphic that identifies services and merchandise available through funeral homes and cemeteries. He noted that Catholic Cemeteries now offers a funeral insurance policy in collaboration with a number of mortuaries in the archdiocese.
When family service advisers meet with families to preplan, Alonzo said they go into greater depth about the “circle of protection,” associated expenses and opportunities to lock in prices. Among reasons to preplan, he listed:
• the emotional advantage of minimizing planning required of surviving family members
• the choice of arrangements the individual prefers (“choice vs. chance”)
• the relief of financial burden with the five-year payment plan and 0% interest on all cemetery services and products
• the affordable, low-interest, monthly payments on all funeral services and products.
“Along with the financial advantages, peace of mind results for those making the choices and those who will survive them,” concluded Alonzo.
He said that family service advisers will be available at the parish sessions. Individuals can also make personal appointments by calling Catholic Cemeteries’ main number at (913) 371-4040 or sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parishes interested in hosting an information session can contact Alonzo at the main number or by email at: email@example.com. Catholic Cemeteries operates and manages nine cemeteries located in Johnson, Leavenworth, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.