Bishop Blesses New Gate of Heaven Cemetery

The new Gate of Heaven Cemetery, located on the Prince of Peace Catholic Church property (6320 Bennett Road) is finally ready for the souls of the faithful. On Tuesday, Aug. 24, Bishop Felipe Estévez blessed the cemetery, which includes a four-walled columbarium, an octagonal columbarium and plenty of room for in-ground cremation burials. Each columbarium bears a name by which Jesus is known: Son of God, Lamb of God, Emmanuel, Son of Man and New Adam.

Keith Rezendes, diocesan director of Catholic Cemeteries, began the ceremony with remarks on the hard work it took to build the new cemetery and introduced Kristen Jewell, the new family needs consultant for the cemetery. Officials broke ground on the cemetery on March 11.

Following the readings, Bishop Estévez gave a homily in which he reflected on the passing of his father in 2004 and his mother in 2015.

“But I don’t experience anxiety at this very big loss. Why don’t I? Because I believe in eternal life,” he said.

The bishop emphasized the importance of the institution of cemeteries within the Catholic church because “it’s all related to the pastoral care of those who are very beloved by us, our family members, on their way to God.”

“Their passing is not the end,” he explained. “It is a transition as the preface of the church expresses so beautifully.”