In addition to blessing the construction area, Rhoades also sprinkled holy water on the actual section of land where the funeral home will be built. It will stand on what is now 7 acres of grass and trees in the northwest corner of the cemetery, along Lake Avenue between White Oak Drive and the west entrance to the cemetery.
Rhoades, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Catholic Cemetery Superintendent Casey Miller and other dignitaries also grabbed shiny silver shovels to scoop up and toss dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking. Actual construction is scheduled to start Wednesday and be completed by Oct. 1.
The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will own and pay for construction of the funeral home, Miller said previously. The funeral home will serve people of any faith and also will serve families whose loved one will be buried in a cemetery other than Catholic Cemetery.
The 14,000-square-foot funeral home will contain two visitation rooms, each of which will have a personal family room; a crematorium; embalming facility; offices of Catholic Cemetery; and parking for 220 vehicles.
Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers, which operates 16 funeral homes in Indianapolis, will serve as the consultant on planning, building and operating Divine Mercy Funeral Home, Miller said previously. The family-owned Flanner and Buchanan has a strong relationship with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and manages all of the archdiocese's cemeteries.