Category Archives: Events

Eerily Amazing miracle at Butterfly Release Ceremony…click and read…

A small miracle happened at the Calumet Park Cemetery butterfly release memorial ceremony on July 21.  Each year families and friends gather at the Butterfly Garden in the Back to Nature Section for spiritual readings and live music.  The hour long event concludes with the reading of an old Native American Indian legend called “The Legend of the Butterfly”.  Native Americans believe that a wish whispered to a butterfly will be granted when the butterfly flies up to the heavens.

Butterflies are deep and powerful representations of life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection.  Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope, and life.  A butterfly is a symbol for the Resurrection!  It is a spiritual symbol for life after death because of its metamorphosis, or transformation, from a caterpillar that crawls on the ground to a beautiful, almost ethereal creature that flies through the air.

There were concerns that rain and high winds were on their way that Saturday morning.  The area was hit hard with severe storms the previous couple of days, so it was almost a coin toss as to whether or not the event would even be held.  Amazingly, the weather was not a deterrent to approximately 350 brave souls, and all six hundred and twenty butterflies were released, each carrying a special message to heaven.

So, back to the miracle.  In December, a sweet young lady lost her twin boys at the 5th month of her pregnancy.  To lose a baby is so very devastating and if it is possible, losing two at the same time must be crushingly overwhelming.  The hopes and dreams that a parent has for the life of her child is buried with her babies.  As a father who experienced such a loss, I can say that the memories of one’s hopes for the future of a lost child never die.  Although it is real that God called home His children on His timetable, the reality for those left behind is sometimes a shaken fist at God with lots of questions…all starting with “WHY?”

Although the mother gave permission for her real name to be used in this story, she will be referred to as Mother Mary for the rest of this article.  Privacy is important in the world in which we live, and Mother Mary’s privacy should be respected.  During the week leading up to the Butterfly Release, Mother Mary was followed, on and off, by two butterflies.  It scared her a little and she saw them as a sign that God had not forgotten her during her time of loss.  In one sense, Mother Mary told us that she found peace in the tiny, winged creatures of God and felt it would be redundant to attend the live release…but something told her to show up…rain or shine.

On the morning of the release, the crowd grew slowly and steadily.  Mother Mary quietly joined with the others in finding a place to blend in with others while being alone with her thoughts.   Her babies would have been seven months old in July, and thoughts of all of the little outfits and baby paraphernalia were filling up her mind and her heart.

Tears are a healing balm to broken hearted people.  In fact, I remember back some 33 years ago that it felt like my tears would never stop.  To this day, I can see a mother and father with a newborn baby and my heart weeps over what might have been.  So, a great many tears flowed from attendees of all ages, races, colors, faiths and creeds on that special Saturday morning, including those of Mother Mary.

After a couple of readings,  commentary, and songs, the time had come for all to gather around the butterfly garden and the bronze statue of the child offering up a butterfly, laden with wishes from mouth, to butterfly, to God.  Mother Mary found just the right spot to release her butterflies from their folded paper casings. She had two green envelopes with the words “Do not be afraid for I am with you…” printed on them which is a promise from God when He said “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.  Do not anxiously look about for I am your God and I will strengthen you.  Surely I will help you.  Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!”

With close to 400 people gathered around a garden filled with plants and flowers meant to attract butterflies, Mother Mary whispered her private wish to her butterflies.  And that is when the miracle happened.  It would not be noticed by any of the hundreds of people that surrounded her, but it will be with Mother Mary forever.  When she opened her first envelope, two butterflies stretched their gossamer wings and lifted off in unison.  Two in one envelope…a simple mistake on the part of the person in Florida that packed the gentle creatures that has never, ever been known to have happened in the history of the people that supply the butterflies for this event.

Surely, any actuary could not come up with statistics that could represent this occurrence.  Millions of butterflies released annually around the world, and on this day, for this event and for this grieving mother, God arranged to have twin butterflies emerge to be sure that her wishes…one for each of her sons…would have a butterfly dedicated to delivering her wishes to His ears.

This simple mistake on the part of a “butterfly packer” thousands of miles away answered Mother Mary’s wishes before she could even utter them.  God knew in His heart this day would come, long before Mother Mary’s own mother and father came together and conceived her.  God has a plan, and we are inserted into His timeline.  We are along for the ride, and sometimes the ride is bumpy and cold and lonely and filled with pain.  Other times, we come out of the tunnel of darkness filled with joy.

On this day, in the midst of one of Mother Mary’s most bumpy and crushing of all of life’s challenges,  Mother Mary found a moment of peace and joy as she watched the two butterflies flutter away, side by side, toward the heavens.  The babies were His, and He needed them to come home on His schedule.  The two butterflies were but a heavenly message to Mother Mary that He heard her cries of desperation since the day of her loss.  It was received by Mother Mary as confirmation that He had not forsaken her.

As miracles go, two butterflies in one envelope may seem “accidental” to a bystander.  Raising of Lazareth, or feeding thousands with a few loaves and fishes, or even changing water into wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana were miracles.  But for Mother Mary on this day, in this field, unfolding a small green triangle shaped paper envelope to let her butterfly go, seeing two butterflies emerge was all the affirmation she needed to know in her heart that they were with Jesus.

And friends, that is why Calumet Park sponsors this type of community event.  Set the table for a miracle and a miracle may just appear.  Who doesn’t remember the line from the baseball movie, “Build it and they will come.”  To this, I say, build a life that is open to Christ, invite Him in, and you too shall discover that God has plans for all of us if we allow ourselves to believe, for the age of miracles is now.

 

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Butterfly Release for 2018 a resounding success…in spite of iffy weather…

Thanks to all who came out for the live butterfly release on Saturday, July 21.  The weather cooperated and all had a memorable time.  A

A special thanks to all the participants:  Paul Vogel II, Rob Vogel, Rusty Shields, Richard Stake, Dianne Correll, Stephanie Syzmanski, Marilyn Kligler, Sandy Ferris, Carrie Evans, Violeta de la Torre-Corona, Mike Poweska, Matt Hahn,Tim McClure, Tom Music and the entire grounds team who handled the set up and tear down and traffic control and parking.  See you again next year.

Hope I did not miss anyone.

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Fishing For Memories…fun day of fishing for kids 12 and under…

Now that’s a nice catch!

Come out to the cemetery on Saturday, June 9th at 11:00 and bring the kids.  This is an annual catch and release program of fun for the entire family.  Refreshments will be served.  Stop at the office for a map to the Meditation Pond, or look for the fountain, gazebo and waterfalls.  See you there.  99% sure you will catch fish.  Call 769-8803 if you have any questions.

Let Grandpa show you how its done.

Now this is relaxing.

Matt Hahn guides the young-uns in the ways of the wild.

Fun family fishing day.

Leslie looking for her kin to do some fishing.

Paul Jr. helping bait a hook.

Garry Groundhog with Paul Sr. at the Meditation Pond Fishing for Memories event.

Young at heart.

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(click for pics) Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville getting ready for Memorial Weekend…

Meditation Pond and Niches with new falls. Next step will be to shock the water to eliminate the algae.

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Meditation Falls – water flows into pond via two small tributaries.

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Meditation Pond with cremation niches and waterfall.

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Tom Music, Assistant Grounds superintendent and Tim McClure, Superintendent, inspect the new waterfalls at Calumet Park Cemetery.

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One of two columbariums on the north shore of the Meditation Pond now available for placement of ashes (cremains). The columbariums are able to hold either one or two final placements. The granite fronts may be etched with pictures (and names and date) of those families who choose this form of final placement that will last many lifetimes, or designs with names and dates of those inurned.

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Granite flag marking the beginning of the Veteran Section (Section 17).

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Large granite flag at the southeast corner of the Veteran Section. The flag is on a raised hill and will be landscaped in the near future.

 

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Mausoleum complex behind the new granite flag feature in the Veteran Section of the cemetery. Ask about the special program offered by Calumet Park Cemetery designed to save veterans a great deal of the cost of final arrangements. (call 769-8803)

The Veteran Memorial Columbarium is located in the Veteran Section. New this year are the five flagpoles that will have the branch of service flags flying high. They will be in place by Memorial Day.

Veteran Columbarium with branch service flags.

Marines

Coast Guard

Army

Air Force

Navy

The Memorial Weekend service for veterans will be at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 27.  Pastor Dan Jacobsen will deliver the invocation.  The service is organized by The American Legion First District and will have a number of dignitaries speaking, including the Honorable Peter Visclosky,  with Captain James Wiltshire, USNR (ret) presenting the Memorial Day address.

Special thanks go to the Merrillville High School Symphonic Band, Wolff Gang singing group from Hobart High School, Mattie Willis singing My Buddy and Tom Cushing playing Taps.  Other participants will be Tim Conner, Joe Simonetto, Marty Dzieglowicz, Judy Morris, Dewey Long, Denise Delaney-Wrolen, David Tretter, Chaplain Bob Downy, the Marine Corps Howlin Mad Detachment 93 and the many who make up the color guard.

This event offers an opportunity for all to show their respect and appreciation for all that our veterans have done to keep this country safe for democracy.  To them and to their loved ones, Calumet Park salutes you and offers our most sincere thanks.

Questions regarding any of the Memorial Weekend’s many services, or for info about the annual fireworks on Saturday night, call 219-769-8803.  Calumet Park is located at the corner of 73rd and Taft in Merrillville just one mile north of Route 30.  See you there!  When you call, ask about the many specials available for Memorial Weekend with the sale ending June 14.

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New flag at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville….

 

 

What is 20′ x 30′ and flies 80 feet in the sky?  Answer, the new flag flying over the entrance to Calumet Park Cemetery … 80 foot flagpole and huge flag … we salute all Americans!  For Memorial Weekend, the following are specially priced:  25% off the Veteran Memorial Columbarium, 25% off the new Meditation Pond Columbariums (see pictures above), 25% off a new private mausoleum on a pond with a fountain next to the original community mausoleum, 25% off specific graves (ask a Family Service Counselor to show them to you…new sections, 50% off all selections in the Black Monument/bronze flush marker section, and 15% off all monuments and markers.  We can deliver to any cemetery in NW Indiana.

 

 

For more information, call 219-769-8802

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Do not lose hope – Spring is less than two months away

March 20 is the first day of Spring – warm weather is coming so have faith.

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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

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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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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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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, Events, Funeral home, Pat from WJOB radio, Rendina Funeral Home, veterans at calumet Park cemetery, veterans day ceremony