New cemetery company approved

Big update! The Diocese of Orlando sought approval of a request to organize a new cemetery company, Queen of Angels. The Board of the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services approved this request on December 6, 2018. It is hoped that Queen of Angels Cemetery will be operational in early 2020.

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New diocesan cemetery for Central Florida Faithful

WINTER PARK | Eternal peace of mind is coming soon for the Central Florida faithful in the form of the first diocesan cemetery. Queen of Angels Catholic Cemetery will be located on 50 acres in Winter Park adjacent to the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center. Groundbreaking is currently slated for Summer 2019 and the goal is to have the cemetery open by Winter 2020.

Burying the dead is a corporal work of mercy. Through our prayers and actions, we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn. The new diocesan cemetery will be a sacred space where the faithful will gather to remember, celebrate and pray for those who rest in peace. “Burial of the body or cremated remains in a Catholic cemetery offers the community of faith to join in prayer, not only for their beloved but adjoined with the communion of saints,” said David Branson, Director of Cemeteries for the Diocese of Orlando. “Those deceased entrusted to our care is a blessing as we are called to steward this hallowed ground for the glory of God.”

The first phase will include a columbarium with plans for more than 5,000 inside and outside niches and 1,500 full body burial lots with upright and lawn level monuments. “Our counselors will offer comfort to the families as we assist them in the burial of their beloved,” explained Branson. “We remember that we become an extension of these families as we tend to the deceased on their behalf.”

“How powerful and consoling are our Catholic funeral rites,” said Bishop John Noonan. “They speak eloquently of the pain of loss, faith in the Resurrection, the hope of eternal life mingled with prayers to assist the departed on their final journey, and the sacramental life which plunges us, body and soul, into the death and Resurrection of Christ. The final act of kindness extended to our Savior was an appropriate burial. What we do for others, we do for Him.”

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St. Joseph Parish preserves history of Miller Street Church

A new undertaking has launched on the space coast: save the tiny church that served families who flocked to Florida in the early part of the 20th century. St. Joseph Parish in Palm Bay dates back to 1912 and the original Miller Street church still actively serves the community. The faithful are now seeking a grant to help preserve the national landmark.

Greg Kapral, a long-time parishioner, is leading the effort to document the church’s past. “The importance of this project is to provide greater detail on the history and use of the structure to include its many configurations over the past 100 years and to use this research for future grants to ensure the preservation of this historic structure,” he said.

Preserving historic buildings can be expensive because they are required to adhere to the period in which the building was built. The parish is prayerful that the grant provides fund to properly maintain the property.

Miller Street church was built in 1914 and was in use until the Babcock Street Church was constructed in 1981 to accommodate growing numbers of faithful coming from the new Space Program. Still used for weddings, funerals, and occasionally, daily Mass, St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery surrounds the Church on three sides.

In 1987, the Church building was added to the U.S. Department of the Interior National Register of Historic Places. It is part of the history of Palm Bay, originally named Tillman until 1925 when the name changed.

To help archival and grant efforts that will support future maintenance of this historic site, the parish is asking anyone who has photos of the Miller Street church to send them in to the parish office at 5330 Babcock St. N.E., Palm Bay, Florida 32905. Photos will be scanned and returned. Photos submitted may include complete or partial outside views, interior scenes from weddings, Confirmations, or other Sacraments depicting the church in the background. If anyone has any historical knowledge, please call the parish office at 321-727-1565 to reach Greg Kapral.