During the week of August 13, as part of the Diocesan Summer in the City Youth Program, high school students volunteered their time and talent at Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum located in Mays Landing, NJ. This is the third year that the youth have visited Holy Cross Cemetery as part of the Summer in the City Youth Program. The youth, always eager to help, gained an understanding of what perpetual care means when maintaining a cemetery. They worked with cemetery staff and planted several cypress and dog wood seedlings. Other jobs included mulching, weeding, painting, cleaning outside of the cemetery office and cleaning the mausoleum.
The cemetery staff begins the day be explaining perpetual care, the Church’s teaching on cremation, and charitable burials. The youth spent the week performing the Corporal Work of Mercy not by actually digging a grave and burying a casket, but rather by caring for the resting places of those who are buried here at Holy Cross. This activity intertwined the 4 Pillars of the Summer in the City Youth Program — Service, Spirituality, Community and Social Justice — with the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. At the end of the day, the students gained the knowledge of how caring for cemetery grounds brings consolation to visitors and shows respect for the deceased.
For more information about the Summer in the City Youth Program visit camdendiocese.org/youth-ministries.