WINTER PARK | Eternal peace of mind is coming soon for the Central Florida faithful in the form of the first diocesan cemetery. Queen of Angels Catholic Cemetery will be located on 50 acres in Winter Park adjacent to the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center. Groundbreaking is currently slated for Summer 2019 and the goal is to have the cemetery open by Winter 2020.
Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy. Through our prayers and actions, we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn. The new diocesan cemetery will be a sacred space where the faithful will gather to remember, celebrate and pray for those who rest in peace. “Burial of the body or cremated remains in a Catholic cemetery offers the community of faith to join in prayer, not only for their beloved but adjoined with the communion of saints,” said David Branson, Director of Cemeteries for the Diocese of Orlando. “Those deceased entrusted to our care is a blessing as we are called to steward this hallowed ground for the glory of God.”
The first phase will include a columbarium with plans for more than 5,000 inside and outside niches and 1,500 full body burial lots with upright and lawn level monuments. “Our counselors will offer comfort to the families as we assist them in the burial of their beloved,” explained Branson. “We remember that we become an extension of these families as we tend to the deceased on their behalf.”
“How powerful and consoling are our Catholic funeral rites,” said Bishop John Noonan. “They speak eloquently of the pain of loss, faith in the Resurrection, the hope of eternal life mingled with prayers to assist the departed on their final journey, and the sacramental life which plunges us, body and soul, into the death and Resurrection of Christ. The final act of kindness extended to our Savior was an appropriate burial. What we do for others, we do for Him.”
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By Jennifer Drow, special to the Florida Catholic – October 31, 2018