October 30, 2014  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

Catholic Cemeteries, a nonprofit of the Archdiocese, treat nearly 200 students to classroom at the cemetery in preparation for Día de los Muertos Vigil open to the public on Nov. 1

About 200 children from eight Catholic schools today crafted altars honoring their departed loved ones at Calvary Cemetery (4201 Whittier Blvd.) in East L.A. in preparation for a Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Vigil, presented by Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 1, from 3-8 p.m.

Día de los Muertos is a beautiful reminder that our lives belong to God, who is a God of the living,” said Archbishop José Gomez. “I pray our celebrations will be a special time of grace for all of us — as we remember our loved ones and renew our hope in Heaven and the joy of eternal life.”

Students bussed to Calvary Cemetery today learned about the meaning of Día de los Muertos from the Archdiocese’s Department of Religious Education. Afterward, they decorated sugar skulls and picture frames, crafted paper flowers and strung rosary bracelets. Each school created a Día de los Muerto altar with fresh marigolds, pan de muerto, photos of departed loved ones, small bottles of Tabasco sauce and other items they brought from home. The altars will be exhibited during the November 1 festivities. Each child was treated to Mexican food and refreshments provided free by Vallarta Supermarkets, El Gallo Giro and Chago Tortas Ahogadas.

Día de los Muertos, or All Souls Day celebration, is a vibrant faith-based tradition, when the life of the deceased is honored and celebrated through songs, prayer and ofrendas, or altars. The Calvary Cemetery event is an opportunity for families to celebrate a tradition that unites their faith and cultural heritage.

The Nov. 1 Vigil at Calvary Cemetery is free and open to the public. Highlights include calavera face painting, ballet folklorico dancers, a candlelight procession, blessing of the altars, a procession through the cemetery’s Mausoleum, and a mariachi concert. More event details at http://archla.org/diadelosmuertos.

Catholic Cemeteries have played a vital role in Southern California since the time of the Spanish Missions. Today, eleven cemeteries in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, plus the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Mausoleum, ​serve families throughout the Archdiocese. For more information about Catholic Cemeteries, visit www.catholiccemeteriesla.org.

NOTE: Please use this link to select photos. Credit: Alexandra Cooper, Archdiocese of Los Angeles. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B21EEsm40NiOQzl0dWxOZmpsWVk&usp=sharing