Old Calvary tree to be resurrected

Another venerable tree was taken down at Calvary this month, but this 130-year-old cedar will be headed to Mankato’s Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota.

According to Calvary Caretaker Terry Miller the tree will be part of a museum display, presumably in the facility’s “Dotson Back Forty” outdoor area.


Calvary preps for Memorial Day, launches fence fundraiser

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.)

Fr Tim Reker

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.

WOH to host ‘Evening of Remembrance’ May 9

woh picThe 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.

For more information about WOH, go to the WOH website.

The trend — postponed winter burials

5427Caretaker Terry Miller heats the frozen ground in preparation for a winter burial.

Today is supposed to be the coldest day this winter. With air temperature near 20 below, it seems like a terrible day for a burial. But there is one scheduled at Calvary.

Minnesota is one of several states that requires cemeteries to provide winter burials — if the family requests one. Some families need a prompt burial to help provide closure for grieving. A prompt winter burial also eliminates the need for a second trip in the spring or summer for far-flung family members.

Even if there wasn’t a law, the burial would still happen at Calvary. It’s about customer service.

“It all comes down to what the family needs,” says Terry Miller, Calvary Caretaker.

But a growing trend at Calvary, for cremation burials, is to postpone a winter burial and instead, have a warm weather event that provides a more pleasant family get-together.

“Don’t get me wrong. We’re having plenty of burials this winter. But I’m seeing more and more families with cremation burials decide to hold off until the summer, maybe to double up with a family reunion,” says Terry.

With cremation burials continuing to increase (now at 55%), the need to hurry with the burial seems less urgent to many families, he said.

A hundred years ago, before jackhammers, backhoes and propane ground heaters, it was customary to store bodies in a vault over the winter and wait for the frost to leave the ground. Even now, it takes 24 hours of ground heating to remove the frost for excavation.




Now taking orders for Christmas wreaths…

It’s hard to think about the holidays without remembering Christmas past and

Christmas Wreath

Christmas Wreath

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.

All Souls Day Mass set for Friday, Nov 2

Calvary Cemetery Chapel will be the site for a special All Souls Day Mass to be held

Father Paul

Father Paul

on Friday, November 2nd at 9 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.

Surprise snowfall does not blunt Calvary’s beauty

calvary snow_10.14.18

calvary snow_chapel_10.14.18

To their surprise, Mankato residents awoke to find soft, wet snow falling gently but insistently this morning. With no wind to flail it about, it just silently settled to the ground but for all it’s quiet, the snow marked an abrupt transition from fall to winter.

Thanks to Mary Fowler, we have some photos to record this first, early snowfall. Much appreciated Mary!



Cold does not stop WOH Remembrance

woh pic_10.2.18

Left to right: Deb Boesch, Becky Shouts and DeeAnn Wacker sing during the WOH ceremony.

Cold fall weather and leaden gray skies did not stop mourning families from attending the Wings of Hope “Evening of Remembrance” ceremony Tuesday evening as 57 people gathered at Calvary Cemetery to say “goodbye” to children recently lost during pregnancy.

The warmth of the ceremony, led by Chaplain Kathy Blair, and musically decorated by Deb Boesch, Becky Shouts and DeeAnn Wacker, helped deter the cold. The mourners, some wrapped in blankets against the chill, sang and prayed.

A special highlight to the ceremony was the recitation of an original poem by DeeAnn Wacker entitled “Light of My Soul.”

“These children we remember today have gone to their rest in the peace of Christ. May the Lord now welcome them to the table of God’s children in Heaven. With faith and hope in eternal life, let us assist them with our prayers. Let us pray to the Lord also for ourselves. May we who mourn be reunited one day with our children; together may we meet Christ Jesus when he who is our life appears in glory,” said Chaplain Blair in the opening prayer.

More information on Wings of Hope is available at their website.