Christmas is just around the corner…

Christmas is just around the corner…

By Daniel Moran

Depending on one’s perspective, Christmas can be a wonderfully happy time of year, or the holidays can be filled with sadness.  Celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus, should be a time to be filled with hope for eternity

For those who have lost a mom or a dad, a child, a spouse or friend in 2017, the joy of Christmas will be somewhat overshadowed by the sadness of such a loss.  But for those who truly believe in the grace and mercy of God, Christmas can be wonderful…even if someone you loved died.  For, you see, we all want to go to heaven but few of us want to do the things that are necessary to get there:  believe in Jesus and die.

I believe our date of death was pre-ordained.  We should all do the best we can each day since none of us know when we will depart this world.  We should all enjoy our favorite Christmas carols, and savor the flavor of candy canes and cookies.  We should all learn how to give without expectations, and learn how to graciously receive with a simple ‘thanks’.  All hearts seem a little more caring during the month of December.  When Nat King Cole sings ”chestnuts roasting on an open fire” or “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, how can we not be transported to all of our yesteryears of love and family, surrounded by the smells of turkey and pie and, dare I say, fruit cake?

Those who have passed away, whether this past year or in years past, remembering the good times can help to balance out the sadness of their not being with us, in the flesh, this year.  Think of the special gift that had so much meaning that only that loved one would have known enough about you to give it to you.  Think of the hugs by a fireplace, or the sledding or skating that made any given Christmas in your life together  a Christmas to remember.

Nothing will ever take the place of those special people in your lives, nor should anything be so overpowering that those times could be replaced.  There is room in each of our hearts to look back at the first kiss from our mate, the first smell of our first baby, the 60th anniversary or the first anniversary with that someone special.  I believe that is one of the best benefits of being human.  God gave us the ability to feel with our hearts besides just feeling with our hands.  He gave us billions of storage cells in our brains where each special moment could be captured and pulled out as a memory when we need to feel good, even in our loss of a loved one.

Did you ever notice that a smell, or a song, or a sunset can take us right back to an important time in our lives?  My father’s favorite song was “Oh my Papa.”  That was sung back in the ‘50’s but to this day, when I hear it, I am immediately transported back to a time that Dad was holding my hand.  He did not spend his time saying I love you.  He lived his “I love you’s”.  Too bad I only had him for the first 11 years of my life.  Yet, though he is gone, his impact was such that, even in the many Christmas’s that have come and gone since he died, I still know him.  I still feel him.  I still love him and know that he is in heaven rooting for me.  And that is a good feeling.

So, yes, Christmas will be sad for many this year because of the loss of a special person in their life, but I ask all who read this article to cry your tears and offer your pain up to God.  Know that your heroes, your lost loves, your reasons for living are alive and sitting at the table of our Lord, just waiting for you to join them when your appointed time comes.  You will feel their presence when you pull good Christmas memories from your very smart brain.  Love the ones you are with and cherish the time that you have with your husband, or wife, or parent, sibling, children and friends.  There is lots of room left in your heart to store up great moments of joy so you will be able to give and get a spiritual hug whenever you need it.  It is up to you to build those precious moments that can be drawn upon as needed after a loved one is gone.

God bless you all and I pray for your happiness, good health and prosperity for the coming year.

 

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Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville hosts the 13th Annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony …

Under the leadership of Carrie Evans (funeral home supervisor), Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville sponsored its 13th Annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, December 2.  Along with her team of Raquel Santos, Teresa Dille, Greg Schafer, Marcia Ochoa, Sandy Ferris, Matt Hahn, Marilyn Kligler, Mike Poweska,  Mileva Savich, Richard Stake,  Rick Kalk, and Barb F. planned and executed a wonderful event.  Other participants were Kim Jones, Paul Vogel, Brant Vogel, Renee Wilson, Carolyn Moore, Sara and Matt Courtney, and the Merrillville H.S. Choral group.

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE.

Thank you to all who attended this beautiful ceremony to honor those who have passed away and thanks to all those involved in the planning and perfectly executed service to the community.  Please remember that the birth of Jesus is the reason for the season and have a happy and healthy Christmas holiday.

For information on future events, call 219-769-8803.

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Angel Tree Lighting at Rendina Funeral Home on November 30 was a big success…

  Rendina Funeral Home, an affiliate of Calumet Park Cemetery, held its 3rd Annual Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony on Novembeer 30, 2017.  Lead by Funeral Home Supervisor, Michelle Hanrahan, the event was appreciated by all in attendance.  Approximately 60 guests enjoyed live music from Brant Vogel and Harpest Renee Wilson.  Michelle’s team of Greg Schafer, Teresa Dille and Marcia Ochoa worked hard to ensure that all guests would be comforted as they placed their angels upon the tree.  Paul Vogel offered and inspirational message for the holiday.  After the lights were lit, comfort finger food and sweet treats were shared as people enjoyed fellowship and good cheer.  If you missed the tree lighting, you may attend the Calumet Park Funeral Chapel Angel Tree lighting on Saturday, December 2.  Call 736-5840 for details.  Merry Christmas to all.

Greg and Michelle

2017-11-30 05.40.37 2017-11-30 05.41.57 2017-11-30 05.42.10

 

 

 

 

 

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A quiet November night in NW Indiana…

View is looking west with the beautiful sunset as a wonderful backdrop to the original mausoleum at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville..

A reminder that the Angel Tree Lighting ceremonies at Rendina will be this Thursday at 6:00 p.m., November 30 and for Calumet Park Funeral Chapel at 4:00 on Saturday, December 2.

Call for directions:  980-1141 for Rendina and 736-5940 for Calumet Park funeral Chapel.

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Happy Thanksgiving to all and remember to call in now for your Angel (see below)

 

 

Please be thankful for all the gifts you are given daily from God.

Rendina Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony – November 30 (call 980-1141)

Calumet Park Funeral Chapel Angel Tree Lighting Ceremony – December 2 (call 736-5840)

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Calumet Park Cemetery holds annual Veterans Day Commemoration on Saturday, November 11…

Reverend Jim Drummond

Calumet Park Cemetery honored area veterans at the annual Veterans Day Commemoration on November 11.  Rev. Drummond opened the ceremony with a prayer and some thoughts on what it means to be a veteran.

Paul Vogel II shares stories about Tony Rendina and Paul Vogel who recently passed away. Paul Vogel Sr. was CEO of Calumet Park and Tony was part of the Rendina Family that owned Rendina Funeral Home. Rendina F.H. is now part of the Calumet Park Family.

Pat O’Donnell, WJOB radio, keynote speaker

Rob Vogel, Theo (great friend of Paul Sr.) and Kim Jones.

Paul Vogel Sr. remembered.

Tony Rendina remembered.

Vince Rendina with a display of personal military items.

Rob Poortenga and one of his horse and buggies.

Ceremony inside the original mausoleum at Calumet Park Cemetery.

Calumet Park salutes all veterans from the past, the present and into the future.  For information on the veteran program for pre-need at Calumet Park, stop in at the cemetery office or call 219-769-8803.

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Veterans Day Service scheduled for Saturday, November 11 at 11:00…all are invited.

Paul Vogel serving as patriot guard.  You are invited to attend Calumet Park Cemetery’s Annual tribute to veterans on Saturday, November 11 at 11:00 a.m.  Pat O’Donnell from WJOB radio will be the keynote speaker.  Reverend Jim Drummond from St. Michael’s Church will share his thoughts for this special day.

This year’s ceremony hits close to home as two of our own passed away recently.  Tony Rendina (former owner of Rendina Funeral Home) and Paul Vogel (shown above, CEO of Calumet Park Cemetery, Funeral Chapels and Rendina Funeral Home) were both proud veterans and both were active in support of all veterans over the years.  The Veterans Day tribute is a way to say a collective thank you to  all the veterans and their families for their contributions to keeping this country safe and free.  Thanks to all veterans from Calumet Park.  For information or directions, call 769-8803.

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Coming soon to Calumet Park Cemetery…two new niche columbariums overlooking the Meditation Pond…

Watch this space to see when the new columbarium project will be available for sale.  A columbarium is a bank of niches that are designed as permanent placement of the cremains of a loved one after cremation.  Each of these spaces will accommodate the ashes of either one or two cremains.  The personal information will go on the black granite niche fronts.  There are 160 individual niches.  They are set between the bridge at the Meditation Pond and the gazebo.  During the spring, summer and early fall seasons there is a fountain in the pond which will offer a quiet place of contemplation and remembrance for families that choose this new addition to Calumet Park Cemetery’s constantly growing inventory of peaceful and beautiful final resting places for our departed ones.

There will be a stream surrounding the Columbariums with a waterfalls and bridges to get to this small but beautiful island paradise.

For information on this or any of the many wonderful choices for the cremation-oriented families that we serve, please call 219-769-8803 or stop in for a tour of the new facility.

 

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First annual Fall Festival a huge success at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel on County Line Road in Hobart just north of County Line Orchard. More pics added.

Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Hobart on Country Line Road held its first annual Trunk or Treat Fall Festival on October 21.  Free pumpkins, face painting, games, prizes, hot dogs, drinks and popcorn (provided thanks to IMAX in Portage),  and 15 local business with open trunks for trick or treating made for a wonderful couple of hours.  A great time was had by all who worked to make it a success and for those who came for the fun.  A special thanks to Violet de la Torre-Corona and Mike Poweska for organizing the event and to Bethany Music for providing all the pics shown below.  Misti Ferkull and Sandy Ferris greeted everyone at the check in table and students from Portage High School and Crown Point High School helped with the games.  A number of other CPC employees worked hard to ensure that  great memories could be made including Matt Hahn, Michelle Hanrahan, Rob Vogel, Marcia Ochoa, Emily Dominguez, Kim Jones, Raquel Santos, and Brant Vogel.  See you all next year. (hopefully I did not leave anyone off who worked to make this a great day)  Click on any pic to enlarge for better viewing.

Prize winners for best costume (some kids with great costumes were gone at time of contest winners)

Rob, Michelle and Brant

Mike and Marcia

Carl Paunicka (Owner and BOD member) and Daniel Moran (GM)

Misti and Sandy

Mike and Violet

Unique to Calumet Park – the Harley Hearse for a final ride to remember

 

Once again, thanks for coming.  If you would like a tour of the newly remodeled funeral home, call Violet (speaks Spanish) or Mike at 219-940-3791 or stop in any time.

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Fall Festival 2017 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel a huge success…

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this annual fall event a success.  To all the families and kiddies, hope you had a great time.  If you missed this year’s event in Merrillville, mark your calendars for our second Fall Festival on October 21.  It will be at our newest funeral home on County Line Road just north of the County Line Orchard in Hobart/Portage.  There will be a Trunk and Treat as part of this event so come at 11:00 am and stay for the whole two hours.  There is no cost and it is guaranteed to be a fun couple of hours building memories with your wee ones.  The Apple Orchard is tons of fun but Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Hobart will offer free pumpkins for painting, refreshments, games and safe trunk or treating.  Call 219-940-3791 for directions and details.  A special thanks goes out to Bethany Music for providing the photos in this post.

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Filed under Calumet Park Cemetery, Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville Indiana, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel in Merrillville Indiana, Calumet Park Funeral Chapel of Hobart and Portage, Calumet Park Funeral Home, Events, feature stories, Rendina Funeral Home, veterans at calumet Park cemetery