Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark invited its Catholic community to place a personal ornament in memory of a deceased loved one on special Christmas Trees of Remembrance at several cemetery locations in early December.  A special blessing was offered for all the faithful departed whose decorated ornaments adorned trees in the chapels at Gate of Heaven, Saint Gertrude, Holy Cross, Maryrest, and Holy Name cemeteries following monthly Mass of Remembrance. Free memorial ornaments were provided for family members as needed.

“The Christmas season may not be a joyous one for all,” said Andrew P. Schafer, executive director of Catholic Cemeteries. “Some may be in the midst of grieving and may be feeling overwhelmed by their loss,” he said.  “It’s important to remember in a special way those we have lost, and hopefully, our monthly Masses of Remembrance for deceased loved ones provide such an opportunity. We celebrate the lives of our loved ones who have gone before us to live in the light of the Lord.”

In addition, the community was encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for distribution to local food pantries to help those who are less fortunate.  Food items will be collected at Catholic Cemeteries offices through Jan. 6. Funds also can be donated online at

For more information about monthly Masses of Remembrance at Catholic Cemeteries, visit