2006.07.08: July 8, 2006: Headlines: Religion: Catholicism: Cemeteries: Parks: Times Union

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Christian Issues, Catholicism, Christmas: 2006.07.08: July 8, 2006: Headlines: Religion: Catholicism: Cemeteries: Parks: Times Union

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-245-111-210.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - 70.245.111.210) on Monday, July 17, 2006 - 8:54 am: Edit Post

RPCV Richard Touchette is Director of cemeteries for Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

RPCV Richard Touchette is Director of cemeteries for Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

"When I returned from the Peace Corps, I worked as a park supervisor for the City of St. Louis before moving on to be head of diocese cemeteries in Galveston, Texas, for 11 years. I'm now the head of 12 cemeteries in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, assisted by 48 caring, compassionate employees. There are management challenges in finance, accounting, human resources and planning."

RPCV Richard Touchette is Director of cemeteries for Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

Cemeteries director provides comfort in times of grief

Caption: Richard Touchette is the director of cemetaries for the Albany Dioceses. Photo: Steve Jacobs / Times Union

First published: Saturday, July 8, 2006

Richard Touchette: Director of cemeteries for Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Background: 53, born in Atlanta, raised in St. Louis and has lived in the Capital Region since 1994.

Graduated from the University of Missouri and received MBA from the University of Houston. Spent three years in Africa with the Peace Corps. Past president of New York State Association of Cemeteries.

He and his wife Kathi have three children: Maggie, a graduate student at Fordham University; Andy, a sophomore at the University of Vermont; and Jeff, a senior at LaSalle Institute.

What prepared your for your current position?

When I returned from the Peace Corps, I worked as a park supervisor for the City of St. Louis before moving on to be head of diocese cemeteries in Galveston, Texas, for 11 years. I'm now the head of 12 cemeteries in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, assisted by 48 caring, compassionate employees. There are management challenges in finance, accounting, human resources and planning.

What is the religious dimension of your work?

The Catholic cemetery serves as a faith cemetery. Burial is a corporal work of mercy and is a ministry of the church. We provide comfort at the time of death to about 1,500 families a year. We try to be open to opportunities to console people.

As Christians, we know that life has not ended but has changed. It does not break what was forged in life. It serves as a symbol of this community. Church law holds two places sacred: churches and cemeteries.

For more than two years, you've been writing a column in the weekly Evangelist as the Cemetery Guy. How did that come about?

Back in the 1980s, there was a column called "Ask Fr. Buckley" in The Evangelist. Some of my colleagues said to resurrect that column as a way to answer questions in an informal way. I get letters, e-mails, phone calls. Many of the columns are based on questions that have surfaced in the past, concerning such subjects as rules, regulations and decoration programs and other services provided by the cemetery.

How do you serve your parish?

I am a member of St. Patrick's Church in Ravena. I have served as a Eucharistic minister the past eight or nine years. I have taught a confirmation class for four or five years. I've also served on the Parish Council and Cemetery Committee.

-- Teresa Graham





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Story Source: Times Union


This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Religion; Catholicism; Cemeteries; Parks

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