I have this good friend Father Barton, who tells me that every day is a gift, a good and suitable time to take stock of life and ask ourselves how are we are doing with what we’ve been given. We were taught by example, from a special group of people who have gone before us and now rest in our cemeteries.
Take this moment to reflect on those, the thousands of priests, rabbis, pastors, teachers, police officers and firefighters buried in almost every one of the 273 Chicago area cemeteries. They devoted their entire lives to prepare us, teach us, guide us, lead us and keep us from harm. I am willing to bet that we all can fondly remember one or more of these dedicated people who were a positive influence in our lives.
I am certain that these will be rewarded for their faithfulness and for their service. Matthew 25:21 gives us that promise which reads in part: “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant….. enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Many of the cemeteries have special monuments or sections for clergy, firemen, and police. Many others are simply buried within their family plots.
The most impressive to the Catholic faith is the Bishop’s Mausoleum standing on a small hill in the center of Mt. Carmel cemetery in Hillside. It is a beautiful and ornate structure built between the years of 1905 and 1912 and holds seven Cardinals, Bishops, or Archbishops
The three largest Lutheran cemeteries Concordia, Bethania, and Wunders have many pastors and school teachers. Dozens of Rabbi’s are interred in Jewish Waldheim.
And then not to be forgotten are the thousands of Chicago police officers and firefighters who risked their lives and who kept us safe.
Let us be thankful for all those who guided and protected our lives. May we too someday hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”