I came that you may have life and have it to the full.
— John 10:10
Confronting the end of our time on earth is difficult. But from the moment we are born we are moving toward the moment of our death. The Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time for every affair under the heavens...a time to be born and a time to die (3:1,2). A life is for living, not just numbering the days we breathe.
Our Catholic faith is a lifelong gift: passed on to us and passed on by us. Although we live in a temporal world, our hearts are set on a timeless realm. Thus, the tasks of each day become the path of a lifetime.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee believes all of us should take time to plan for our final repose, our final affairs. We strongly encourage planned choices. Yes, these choices acknowledge human limits, our mortality. But, they also affirm our faith in life beyond death.
It is mature, prudent and comforting to plan for our future burial, a sign of genuine stewardship and true discipleship. Advance planning removes or eases the hardship borne by those who mean the most to us.
The time following a death is filled with waves of emotion: sorrow…loss…confusion…bewilderment …pain ...helplessness. To overlay hours of pressing, demanding choices only complicates an already difficult time. Burial arrangements and funeral planning ought to be attended to in the calm of today rather than in the distress of tomorrow.
— Milwaukee Archbishop William E. Cousins, in office 1958-1977