Shamp Painting got the jump on Calvary’s upcoming 125th anniversary celebration in 2020 by completely repainting the walls in the Calvary Chapel basement.
This generous Christmas gift was the brainchild of Charlie Shamp, according to Calvary Caretaker Terry Miller.
“This is part of ongoing work to get ready for next year when we have our anniversary celebration,” said Terry. “We’ve already launched the ‘Fund the Fence’ project, worked on road repair and extensive pruning and landscaping improvements on the grounds.”
“I can’t thank Charlie, the Shamp Painting crew and Diamond Vogel Paints enough,” said Terry. Shamp Painting and Diamond Vogel donated all material and labor.
The muscle and skill for the project was delivered by three generations of the Shamp family: Charlie, his son Steve Shamp, and Steve’s son, Chris Shamp, along with their helper, Crystal.
The holiday spirit is clearly visible at Calvary Cemetery with a record number of Christmas wreaths now decorating the grounds.
According to Calvary Caretaker Terry Miller, Christmas wreath sales at Calvary hit an all-time high this year of 277.
“Thanks for all your support! Calvary families always come through in helping keep our cemetery a beautiful and special place,” said Terry.
“The wreath sale is a great fundraiser. We continue to raise money for our “Fund the Fence” project and have already reached 35% of our goal,” he noted.
Terry was referring to the current project to replace the aging cyclone wire fencing along Goodyear Avenue with a more appropriate, visually-appealing “wrought iron” style fence. That funding drive continues with hopes that year-end contributions will push funding closer to the target goal of $80,000.
To make a contribution, or find out more, call Terry at 507.995.1010.
It’s hard to think about the holidays without remembering Christmas past and departed loved ones.
If you’d like to decorate a loved one’s grave with some holiday color, Calvary Cemetery is now taking orders for Christmas wreaths. Ordered wreaths will be placed on graves the week of Thanksgiving and will be removed after New Year’s Day (weather permitting).
These 25-inch wreaths are Balsam Fir and feature a red bow with white-tipped pinecones.
To order your wreath for $25, call Terry Miller at 507.995.1010.
Calvary Chapel was packed full on Saturday morning as over 70 people braved a chilly morning to warm up body and soul with some spiritual reassurance of eternal life.
Father Paul van de Crommert of Holy Rosary Catholic Church celebrated the Mass. His welcome message recognized that many there may be feeling the recent loss of a loved one, and emphasized the importance of prayer for those who have departed.
In light of recent funeral and burial trends inconsistent with Catholic Church guidance, Father Paul took the opportunity to clarify why the Church prefers traditional burial and under what circumstances the Church allows cremation.
Two examples of those inconsistent trends: scattering cremated ashes or keeping the ashes of the departed at home. Father Paul quoted a treatise from the New Ulm Diocese:
“St. Paul and the earliest Christians often referred to Christians who had passed away as “those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:18) They believed that the bodies of the dead would one day be reunited with their souls in heaven, just as Christ’s body was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven. Traditional burial has always been a way that Christians placed the bodies of “those who have fallen asleep” to rest until they are raised again. In non-Christian religions cremation represented either the soul being freed from the body as from a prison, or the end of the individual’s existence altogether, beliefs that are contrary to the Christian faith. It is because of our deep reverence for the human body an dour hope in the resurrection, that we prefer to “lay our brother / sister to rest” in traditional burial.”
According to the treatise, the Church allows cremation when the following conditions are met:
Whenever possible, the body should be present for the funeral. It can be subsequently cremated, either immediately following the funeral or at a later time.
The remains must be stored in a worthy vessel (an urn which is made of solid material, beautiful and dignified.
The remains must be buried in a sacred place, that is in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium.
A memorial plaque or stone should mark the place where the remains are buried.
The remains may not be scattered on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or kept in the home of a relative or friend. No part of the remains should be separated out from the whole, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry, or other objects.
Calvary Cemetery Chapel will be the site for a special All Souls Day Mass to be held on Saturday, November 2nd at 9:30 a.m.
Father Paul van de Crommert of North Mankato’s Holy Rosary Catholic Church will be the celebrant. Father Paul is also actively serving on the cemetery’s board of directors.
Confused about All Souls Day, All Saints Day and Halloween?
The Catholic Church celebrates All Saints Day, or All Hallows, on the first day of November each year. Therefore the last day of October is All Hallows Eve, or Halloween (a contraction of “All Hallows Evening). November 2nd is All Souls Day. According to Catholic Online (www.catholiconline.org), here is the difference in the celebrations:
In Western Christian theology, the day [All Saints Day] commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven. It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls’ Day, specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. Catholics celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the fundamental belief that there is a prayerful spiritual communion between those in the state of grace who have died and are either being purified in purgatory or are in heaven (the ‘church penitent’ and the ‘church triumphant’, respectively), and the ‘church militant’ who are the living. Other Christian traditions define, remember and respond to the saints in different ways.
Halloween is not a religious celebration in the Catholic Church. It is a popular celebration revolving around the theme of using humor to confront the power of death.
Calvary Cemetery’s biggest event of the year, Memorial Day, is just days away and the caretaker crew is scrambling to prepare, working around the frequent rainfalls this week.
“It’s a very busy week…hopefully Mother Nature is on my side,” commented Terry Miller, Calvary Caretaker.
Amid all that prep, Calvary is also launching its “Fund the Fence” project to replace the aging cyclone fencing along Goodyear Avenue with a more appropriate, visually-appealing “wrought iron” style fence. (Information is being inserted in all four Mankato parish church bulletins this weekend, and will be posted on this website soon.)
The special Memorial Day Mass will be held at 8:45 a.m. on Monday, May 27th. Father Tim Reker of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church will be the celebrant.
“In the past, we’ve had anywhere from 100 to 700 people attending. It really depends on the weather,” said Terry.
While the Mass is said within Calvary Chapel, many of the visitors sit outside on lawn chairs and hear the service through the P.A. system.
Immediately following Mass, American Legion Post 11 will conduct a ceremony at the veterans’ memorial on the east side of the chapel.
Terry has some good advice for the event visitors:
Park on Goodyear Avenue in front the cemetery and walk in to avoid being blocked in the cemetery.
Bring lawn chairs in case you cannot get a seat inside the chapel.
Dress appropriately for the weather that morning.
Ground decorations are allowed to be placed on sites but must be removed by Monday, June 4th. (To decorate year round, you must have a cemetery-approved pot stand in a concrete pad — certain areas only. Please check with staff.)
No glass containers are allowed — please anchor flowers well or the wind will take them.
The Wings of Hope organization will host its next “Evening of Remembrance” at Calvary Cemetery on Thursday, May 9th from 6 to 7 p.m. Pastor Darren from Hosanna Highland Lutheran Church will be leading the service.
Wings of Hope is a pregnancy loss memorial in Mankato, MN. It also offers common burial for infant remains miscarried before 20 weeks gestation.
Although trees can live for hundreds of years, they do come and go. At Calvary, trees are an important landscape feature. They are tended with care, especially the stately cedars. Sadly, last week one of the patriarchs of the cemetery had to be removed.