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The Cemetery Mission at St. Luke Orthodox Church
By By Roslyn Stevens, Cemetery Correspondent

As your cemetery ministry person, I would like to take some time to share with you some information about our section in the cemetery, as well as some of my experiences in spearheading this mission for the past 3 years. As many of our parishioners are aware, St. Luke church purchased a distinct section of Fairmont Hills Cemetery, located in Willow Springs, Illinois. The ground was consecrated in September of 2002. If anyone has not yet seen our designated section, I would like to describe it to you. In front you will see a large granite monument, an Orthodox cross that is positioned in front of our grave plots. The cemetery is surrounded by forest preserve and many different species of wildlife including deer, birds, ducks, and other small creatures. This cemetery is extremely well maintained and landscaped beautifully with rolling hills and valleys, and winding driveways. Fairmont Hills allows only pop-up vases and has a minimal grave-digging fee. As our parish is aging and becoming better established as our own orthodox community, I urge you to please consider your final expenses and where you would want to be buried. The current fee for St. Luke members is $750, but is about to increase to $850 due to the cemetery raising their prices on grave plots. Non-St. Luke members will begin to pay $950 after the increase takes effect. This fee is payable over 3 months for the living and due in full for the deceased. Checks should be made payable to St. Luke and turned in to me or to Father Andrew. Once a plot is purchased, the buyer will be mailed an official authorization for internment that is a legal proof of purchase and "deed", if you will. Families will also need to be in contact with the cemetery shortly thereafter, to take care of the digging expense.

Although the grieving process or planning one's gravesite is not something that a lot of us like to dwell on or think about, it is necessary. Furthermore, as you can imagine, it is best to be prepared early for the sake of your family. If anyone needs referrals for programs on moving through the grieving process or on understanding death, there are many local hospitals that offer short-term lecture series. As you already know, Father Andrew is an excellent source of support and pastoral care for those struggling with the death of a loved one. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call me at 312-593-1175.

With Love in Christ,
Roslyn Stevens

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