Requiescant in Pace. the Story of Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Article excerpt

WEBER, FRANCIS J. Requiescant in Pace. The Story of Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. (Mission Hills, California: Saint Francis Historical Society. 2003. Pp. vii, 93. $ 12.00 paperback.)

Catholic cemeteries are sacred places, being an outgrowth of belief in the resurrection of the body. Monsignor Francis J. Weber, the author of this book, points out that burying the dead has long been looked upon as a corporal work of mercy. He thus thought it appropriate to write a history of the Catholic cemeteries located within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The author, currently the archivist of the Archdiocese, is no stranger to the funeral industry, having spent part of his youth in the employ of a Los Angeles mortuary.

The book opens with a discussion of the historical background of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Catholic burial practices, the general and evolving rules and regulations, and the administration of the cemeteries. The next three sections profile individually the six mission cemeteries within the archdiocese boundaries, the ten closed, abandoned, or alienated cemeteries, and the twelve currently functioning cemeteries. The discussion for each of these is pleasant, informal, even chatty, highlighting historical elements and quoting statements by church officials relevant to the particular cemetery. The text is amply supplemented by photographic illustrations, some dating to the nineteenth century, of both current and abandoned cemeteries. …

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