CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. – Let the little ones come to me. Mark 10:14
Jesus’ words as shared by the evangelist Mark were among the prayers during a burial ceremony on February 9 at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Crystal City for the remains of babies from miscarriages at Mercy Hospital Jefferson.
“We say a special thanks to Father Clark Maes and the parishioners at Sacred Heart Church for the donation of the land in the cemetery to provide a final resting place for these little ones,” said Deacon Dan Raidt, who helped to coordinate the ceremony and contributions to the project.
Mahn’s Funeral Home donated the burial arrangements and Festus-Crystal City Monument provided the labor for the gravestone used at the site. The Knights of Columbus councils in Festus and Hillsboro made financial contributions along with several co-workers at Mercy Hospital Jefferson and others, Raidt said.
Father Maes blessed the site with holy water and the Rev. Rich Hadley, manager of pastoral care at Mercy Jefferson, read the gospel passage from Mark. Nurse clinician Amy Schwent, RN, from the Mother/Baby unit at Mercy Jefferson laid a rose on the wooden casket, which was built and finished by the carpenters at the hospital.
“Deacon Dan gets the credit for putting all the pieces together and getting this in motion,” Schwent said. “The opportunity to have a burial site for these babies provides the community a place to gather and pray for these little ones and their families.”
The committal service was the culmination of several months of efforts by many people and is expected to become an annual or semi-annual event. Additional contributions to the program could provide plantings or other improvements to the burial site, Raidt said.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord; And let your perpetual light shine upon them.
May their souls and the souls of all our faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.