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COVID’s ‘last responders’

The quiet witness of COVID’s ‘last responders’ at LA’s Catholic cemeteries

Once their obligatory wellness and temperature checks are done, employees at All Souls Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum in Long Beach begin their morning meeting with a special prayer.

“Into your hands, oh Lord, we humbly entrust our brothers and sisters,” they begin.

It is a morning ritual that in the wake of Southern California’s COVID-19 winter surge, prepares the staff — among them counselors, embalmers, and maintenance staff — to face human grief and tragedy on a scale that no job training could have prepared them for.

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