Remains or Cremains in Our Diocese
Taken from the Central California Catholic Life
, Easter Edition
The brutal sun in the middle of July was too much for him, so he went back to San Jose. But fifteen years later he came back, this time during the winter and so was able to gently adapt himself to the extremes of our Fresno weather.
The person in question is Carlos Rascon, the present director of the diocesan cemeteries, St. Peter’s, Holy Cross and Calvary. He was director of the Catholic cemetery in San Jose for some 23 years and had a lot of experience, which he brought with him to Fresno. He had office experience and also field experience, which is very advantageous for his work here.
Carlos has decided to extend the acreage at St. Peter’s, but also to offer a different and less expensive way to inter our loved ones when they die. He is referring to cremation.
Cremation was once rejected by our Catholic Church because many, many years ago it was being pushed as proof that there could be no resurrection. This is no longer the case, for resurrection of the dead will take place no matter what the condition of the remains might be at that final end.
Also for a while, when cremation was first permitted, it was not allowed to bring the urn into the funeral service, but that is no longer the case. Now, funerals may be held with the remains or the cremains carried in, blessed and carried out in procession.
Carlos is insistent, however, that families have to understand the options available to them, aware the cremation can be very much cheaper that regular bodily burial. A medium for the last could be about $9,000, while for the former it could be $2,000, a very important fact for some families.
Carlos describes the various types of cremation burials. The urn can be placed in a wall inside a building, when it would be called a columbarium, or in an open area. He is also developing a locale organized around a statue of the Sacred Heart, called the Sacred Heart Niches. There is already one dedicated to our Lady of Guadalupe and third one being planned that will be dedicated to the patroness of our diocese, St. Theresa.
The front of the individual niche can be either made of granite or of glass. There could be room for one, or two, or three urns, along with pictures and other mementoes of the deceased. When the front of the niche is made of glass, this can create a very lovely way of remembering the deceased.
Finally, urns can be buried, a number of them, in the ground, in regular gravesites.
Carlos Rascon is very excited about his work and about the potential of service that can be rendered to our people. He is also urging the faithful to be aware of the Memorial Day Mass that Bishop Ochoa will celebrate at the cemetery.