Memorial Day Masses planned
May 15, 2014
Archbishop George J. Lucas and Archbishop Emeritus Elden Francis Curtiss were among those who celebrated Mass at cemeteries across the archdiocese on Memorial Day, May 26, as the nation honored and prayed for the dead, particularly veterans.
The archbishops presided at two of the Masses held at 10 a.m. at all five cemeteries run by Catholic Cemeteries in the Omaha area: Archbishop Lucas at an outdoor Mass at Calvary Cemetery and Archbishop Curtiss at Holy Angels Mausoleum in Resurrection Cemetery.
Priests of the archdiocese presided at Memorial Day Masses at St. Mary, Holy Sepulchre and St. Mary Magdalene cemeteries. And at each cemetery, miniature American flags were given to families to place on gravesites, said Deacon Bill Hill, director of Catholic Cemeteries.
Each of the annual Masses have been well-attended. There were about 1,000 people at Calvary Cemetery, where "Taps" was played, two active duty Air Force officers were lectors, people purchased flowers, a golf cart was available for those who needed assistance and Boy Scouts, members of the Knights of Columbus and other volunteers handed out flags and give directions to grave sites, Deacon Hill said.
Catholic Cemeteries’ staff also held an open house May 24 through May 26 at their offices at Calvary to help anyone who inquired about preplanning any other funeral services, he said.
Memorial Day is an opportune time to visit the graves of loved ones, pray for all the deceased and for the nation’s military veterans, Deacon Hill said.
"It’s always appropriate, any time of year," he said. "But Memorial Day is even more meaningful, especially as we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in giving up their lives for their country."
OMAHA CATHOLIC CEMETERIES
Calvary: 7710 W. Center Road
Holy Sepulchre: 4912 Leavenworth St.
Resurrection: 7800 W. Center Road
St. Mary: 3353 Q St.
St. Mary Magdalene: 5226 S. 46th St.
TO REMEMBER, HONOR
Many parishes, schools and Catholic cemeteries honor the dead and the nation’s veterans with Masses and other gatherings on Memorial Day. A sampling:
» May 26, 8:30 a.m., Father Keith Rezac, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Pierce and St. Paul Parish in Plainview, will preside at a Memorial Day Mass at St. Joseph Cemetery in Pierce.
» May 26, 9 a.m. Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Omaha, with parish veterans and their families invited. Father Dan Kampschneider, pastor, will preside at the Mass; Father David Reeson, chaplain for the Omaha Veterans Administration Hospital in Omaha, will concelebrate and give the homily. Each branch of the military will be honored in candle- and flag-bearing ceremonies, "Taps" will be played, and a reception will be held.
» May 30, 2 p.m., Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha will host a blessing and dedication ceremony for its new Memorial Plaza, which bears the names of 71 alumni who died in six military conflicts. Those alumni, together with members of the Jesuit community who served the school for at least two years, past presidents and principals, and former faculty and staff who served 15 or more years, will be honored on the wall.