Catholic Cemeteries, a ministry of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, has kicked off its 15th annual Christmas Food Drive to assist those in need this season. Non-perishable food items such as cereal boxes or soup cans will be distributed to local food pantries to help feed those who are less fortunate. Donations may be brought to Archdiocesan cemetery and mausoleum offices during business hours from now through January 6, 2019. A list of cemetery locations is available at www.rcancem.org. Financial donations also are accepted online at www.rcancem.org/donate.
“Feeding the hungry is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy and performing this charitable act of loving kindness on behalf of a deceased loved one is a caring gift that truly honors their memory in a tangible way,” says Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark.
The annual food drive has aided two local organizations in recent years: the Newark-based Missionary Sisters of Charity, founded by Saint Teresa of Calcutta, which provides food and shelter for women in the community; and the Emergency Food and Nutrition Network in East Orange, which provides assistance and emergency food supplies to 50 food centers in the Archdiocese.
Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark has served Catholic families for over 160 years and recognizes the deep religious significance of the Corporal Work of Mercy involved in the burial of a loved one and the sanctity of the Order of Christian Funerals. Catholic Cemeteries tends to the needs of individuals and families before, at the time of, and after the death of a loved one. This includes caring assistance with cemetery pre-planning, compassionate support of a family and service for a loved one’s interment in a holy place, support throughout bereavement, and perpetual cemetery care, thereafter. The Archdiocese of Newark oversees 11 Catholic cemeteries that have been a vital part of the Catholic community. More than one million loved ones are buried in its cemeteries and daily and perpetual care is provided for the sanctified land on which they occupy.