|Greetings to all OLOTR families!I hope you are enjoying a relaxing summer and staying as cool as possible. We have been working through the heat to keep the grounds in tip-top shape, thanks to our new full-time caretaker. Please help us welcome Leo Espino!!! I’m sure you have seen Leo and his hard-working wife Flora lovingly tending our beautiful cemetery. Leo brings a great deal of experience to his new position with Our Lady, as the head caretaker of one of Austin’s largest cemeteries for 10 years. He is on duty Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and we are so grateful for his dedication to his new position with OLOTR.
We are introducing a new section of our newsletter – Our Lady’s Flora and Fauna – to keep you informed of all our activity related to the grounds, including our projects involving our fantastic volunteers with the Native Plant Society of Texas and the Williamson County Master Gardeners. See the first installment in this issue!!
We have made some changes to our Rules & Regulations regarding monuments, temporary crosses, and benches. Please visit our website at www.olotr.com for the most up to date version of Our Lady’s Rules & Regulations.
We have suffered a large number of tragic and untimely losses over the past several months. Our staff strives to assist you in walking through this difficult time, and our prayers of peace and hope are with you always. My hope is that we continue to provide you with a place of peace and consolation to visit as you walk your own journey of healing. Our Lady recently suffered the loss of one of our own family, Aaron Crawford, who has worked with us since the inception of the cemetery, producing and installing our unique monuments. Our hearts are broken, and our condolences go out to the Crawford family during their difficult time.
As always, please let us know if we can assist you in any way. We are grateful and honored that you have chosen Our Lady for your loved one’s final resting place.
|Flora and Fauna|
Walk of the Beatitudes Receives National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat Recognition
Cindy Stone, Native Plant Society of Texas
When I first strolled down The Walk of the Beatitudes it was difficult not to recognize its importance in the eco-systems of the wildlife that live there. My vision was that it would become a sustainable wildlife habitat for years to come and be enjoyed by Our Lady’s guests. As I explained my vision to Amy MacKay and Jimmy Shields, I received their support and encouragement. Kelly Bender from the Parks & Wildlife Department was invited to the trail and soon her enthusiasm and advice for the project inspired me to set plans in place.
There are four requirements to meet for Certified Wildlife Habitat. These requirements are water, cover, places to raise their young, and food.
Water: The beautiful pond meets the first requirement; perfectly supplying a valuable water source to all animals and birds. It also provides a food source to numerous amphibians and a place of breeding for such insects as dragonflies and damselflies. The different aquatic plants, such as Cattails, provide a food source and cover. The use of pesticides and herbicides is very limited due to the possible contamination of the natural water source.
Cover: There is much consideration given to the area around the pond and the brushes and trees along the Walk of the Beatitudes. Different animals require different cover requirements, especially birds. Cover provides shelter from bad weather and hiding places for predators and prey. Careful judgment must be considered for each area that is cleared. If we trimmed all the trees up or cleared all of the underbrush; then certain birds would leave the area, such as cardinals, because their natural habitat is low branches and large brushes.
Places to Raise Their Young: Do you ever wonder why in spite of all the clearing on the Walk of the Beatitudes it never seems to be like a park? It is because we are providing places for our visitors to raise their young. If this step was not taken into consideration, our visitors and their young would travel to places that would be considered safer.
Food: In October 2012, the first native plants were purchased from the native plant sale at the Wildflower Center. A total of 88 flowers, shrubs, and trees were planted. These plants included food sources for birds, insects, and animals as well as providing cover and a source for building nests. Native plants have low maintenance, low water requirements, low fertilizing needs, and are excellent for providing color to the trail along with their many benefits to wildlife. This past Spring two hundred additional plants were planted with the goal of providing food throughout the season. At this time we continue to expand our beds and additional native plants will be introduced to the areas.
I wish to thank volunteers from the GoodWater Master Naturalists for their time spent on the Walk of the Beatitudes and a special thank you to Ellen Brumder for her support. What a blessing everyone has been to me as the project leader.
With Deepest Sympathy
The staff of Our Lady lost a great friend and monument artist. Aaron, son of Dave and Royce Ann Crawford of Killeen Monuments, passed away on Friday, July 12.
Aaron had a passion for life and enjoyed being around people. Along with his father, he designed and sandblasted many monuments for grieving families. He considered the work he did to be a ministry for God.
We will miss Aaron’s laugh, infectious smile and his optimistic outlook. We grieve his loss deeply and pray for his loved ones at this difficult time in their life.
Aaron Crawford (in baseball cap) assisting with installation of the Butterfly Statue at Our Lady.
|Ready Monument Garden at Our Lady|
Monuments Available for Immediate Purchase
Recently Our Lady has added a Ready Monument Garden located in the northwest corner of the grounds near the foot of the hilltop. The purpose of the garden is to offer monuments to families who wish to purchase a memorial immediately, with no lengthy waiting period. Once the monument is purchased, the monument provider will pick up the stone, engrave the granite and install the monument on the designated grave site. This process can take 14-30 days as opposed to the normal 90-160 days for semi-custom and custom designed monuments.
|Our Lady Has New Caretaker|
Leo Espino brings years of cemetery work experience with him and Our Lady is very fortunate to have a such a dedicated and loyal caretaker to tend the grounds of the cemetery. Leo and his wife Flora are both gifted with an “eye for beauty” and use their artistic flair to enhance the natural surroundings of the cemetery.
The hard work and tender care done by Leo and Flora can be seen throughout the cemetery, especially along the St. Francis Walk and the natural burial area.
|All Souls’ Day Celebration|
|Save the Date – November 2, 2013 | Mass at 10:00 a.m.
Mark your calendar for Our Lady’s annual celebration of All Souls’ Day on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
Due to the large crowd last year, the All Souls’ Day Mass has been moved to St. Helen Catholic Church, 2700 E. University Avenue, Georgetown, Texas. Following the 10:00 a.m. Mass, a police escort will lead the procession of cars to the cemetery for the traditional spreading of wildflower seeds, soul cakes and refreshments. Priests and deacons will also be in attendance to bless family members and friends who will be visiting their loved ones interred at Our Lady.
|Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery & Prayer Gardens|
Our Lady of the Rosary Cemetery and Prayer Gardens is a special place of peace, beauty, reverence and unity. The Cemetery offers a variety of burial rites including traditional burial, green burial and cremation burial. We work directly with families and funeral homes in Austin and the surrounding areas to ensure that the burial service for your loved one is handled in the most caring and compassionate way.