By Amanda Riley | Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Catholic Cemeteries, Diocese of Syracuse

With the publication of his pastoral letter, “Enriching the Church: The Role of the Family in the Life of the Church of Syracuse and Beyond,” Bishop Robert J. Cunningham announced a special Year of the Family, which began in the diocese on Dec. 3, 2017. In his letter, Bishop Cunningham reflects on the mission of the modern family — evangelization — and how it can be accomplished by forming an “ecclesia domestica,” a “domestic church,” through prayer and worship, formation, community, and service. Throughout the Year of the Family, the Diocese of Syracuse and its ministries will provide resources families can use to build their domestic churches. This week: suggestions for talking to your loved ones about your final wishes, from Catholic Cemeteries.

All Catholics plan and celebrate the sacraments as an essential part of their life of faith. Planning for a Catholic burial at the end of that life is just as important and can be a huge relief to you and your family. Making these decisions now, rather than leaving them to your family at the time of your death, will lift the burden from your loved ones during an emotionally challenging time. Here are some suggestions for making your plans and discussing them with your family.


Begin the conversation

• Begin by acknowledging that death isn’t an easy topic to discuss. Point out that it’s a part of life, and we simply can’t predict the unknown.

• Explain why this will be helpful to you and your loved ones, expressing your desire to have your wishes for remembrance followed.

• Ask your loved one to accompany or assist you with the planning portion, to show the importance of making plans as a family.


The benefits of pre-planning

Help your loved ones understand that everything you plan will lessen stress during a difficult time. The major benefits include:

• Providing comfort for your loved ones

• Ensuring the specifics of your wishes

• Handling all the details and paperwork in advance

• Relieving the future financial burden

• Guaranteeing current prices and avoiding inflation


Why choose a Catholic cemetery?

Catholic cemeteries are a vital part of the Catholic Church’s heritage. Catholic cemeteries carry on the tradition of a Corporal Work of Mercy and the Catholic faith when it comes to interment arrangements. Your Catholic cemetery provides a peaceful place where family and friends can join together to celebrate loved ones of all generations. At Catholic Cemeteries, we are honored to assist families in making plans that will honor the traditions of the Catholic faith and provide consecrated grounds for a reverent, respectful burial.

Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Syracuse has locations in the Cortland, Johnson City, Oswego, Syracuse, and Utica areas. For more information about pre-planning and Catholic burials, contact Catholic Cemeteries at (315) 475-4639 or

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