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Family fighting church to change typo on headstone

Family Fighting Church To Change Typo On Loved One's Headstone

The family of a Rio Vista woman was horrified when they saw a glaring typo on their loved one's headstone.

Carol Prelesnik was a good wife, mother and grandmother. Her family says she was a good Catholic woman who lived an honest life. So when Prelesnik died from lung cancer, her family wanted nothing but the best for her burial at Saint Joseph's Cemetery.

"She was very caring. She was always there for me," daughter Ann Sanchez said.

When the family went to pay their respects three months after Prelesnik's burial and saw the headstone for the first time, they noticed the spelling mistake.

"It has her name, the day she was born, the day she died. Then it says 'resting pacefully.' It should say 'resting peacefully,'" Sanchez said.

In the five months since, Sanchez says she has tried to get the spelling mistake corrected but her family has run into a wall.

The cemetery is run by the Sacramento Diocese and all changes to plots must go through them, but several phone calls pleading for something says to be done have gone nowhere, according to Sanchez.

"Two times, she had told me it had already been done, that it had been corrected and both times I drove down to Rio Vista, saw that it hadn't been done and immediately called her. I have gotten a lot of excuses but no action and it just feels like it's not ever going to be fixed," Sanchez said.

The anniversary of Prelesnik's death is coming up on July 27, and Sanchez wants something done now.

"I feel like when I go to the cemetery and when my family goes to the cemetery, we are not going to pay our respects. We are going to check on a spelling error and it just doesn't seem like the right situation," she said.

A statement came out late Tuesday from the spokesperson from the Catholic Cemeteries of Sacramento:

"We owe the Prelesnik family an apology. We didn't do enough to follow-up on their concerns and relied on paperwork from the company in Southern California that was responsible for the repairs the family rightly asked for. The inscription company told us the work was done, but it wasn't done properly and we failed to double-check.

"We have been in touch with the inscription company and the work will be done on March 30."

"The bottom line is that this should not have happened and we take full responsibility. We sincerely apologize to the family and will be in touch with them to personally discuss the situation."

Join the discussion

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Derrick March 27 2014 at 6:36 PM

It was the inscription company's mistake, fix it, refund 50% of the cost back to the family. Period!

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2 replies
cpeter133 Derrick March 27 2014 at 6:48 PM

Mistakes happen. There's no reason to refund anything.

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1 reply
bskooter1 cpeter133 March 27 2014 at 7:05 PM

It's called customer service....something that's just not given much these days. I agree with Derrick. If someone makes a mistake, FIX IT. Simple as that. Then show the family that they care and offer them some sort of a refund. In this type of business you're dealing with a lot of emotions at an extremely difficult time. They shouldn't make it worse.

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aj718720 Derrick March 27 2014 at 6:52 PM

You can't fix it

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iamkeyman March 27 2014 at 6:08 PM

I am wondering just how the marker company is going to change "P A C E F U L L Y " to "P E A C E F U L L Y " with the deep cut into the stone without sandblasting out the whole old word and putting in the whole new word. When I have had to order headstones and headstone work, I always had the company send me a copy of the proposed inscriptions and artwork. Then after I had looked at it and made sure there were no mistakes , then I would authorize the work to be done. I cannot figure out why the family was not shown the proposed inscriptions on paper before they were performed to make sure words , date, and name were correct plus any other notations or quotations on the stone. Why was just the cemetery employees the only ones that viewed the copy ? I feel sorry for the family and also to their loved one who is pacing while resting . The loved one is probably pacing waiting for the cemetery to get the job done right.
I had a similar situation where they place a casket into the plot in the reverse direction . They went out , dug it up and reversed it and then called me two times to assure me that it was corrected. Name plate at the graveside service , was facing the wrong way and it gave me a unsecure feeling. I thought maybe they had nameplate on both ends of the coffin but then thought about it , and called the funeral home to ask them about nameplates. They told me only on the foot of the casket.

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1 reply
lastandtwo iamkeyman March 27 2014 at 6:31 PM

You are supposing the anti-christ reads American English???

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Beverly Doyle March 27 2014 at 6:07 PM

It was a most unpleasant thing for the family to go through, but I will let it go unless and until it isn't fixed on March 30. Sorry if I offend anyone, but this is fairly small potatoes in the cosmos and will hopefully be history on Monday evening. It looks like the Diocese has finally been responsible - if that turns out not to be true, then I will be all in.

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krgpat2003 March 27 2014 at 6:25 PM

So the Catholic cemetary finally makes a comment after this goes public. What about the liar they have as an employee who told the family it had been taken care. Lying is a sin, and that staff person should be fired for being a liar, insensitive and obvioiusly stupid. Did they not think the family would go to the grave site and know they lied. It is just another time where the catholic church forgets that they are to serve the people, not their lying, poor excuse for a human selves. If the family paid for the tombstone they need to get all of their money back. As money is what the church will take notice of.

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2 replies
xraybrain krgpat2003 March 27 2014 at 6:37 PM

don't expect any moraiity from "this" religion. I was raised in it and spent 6 horrific years in the catholic schools from 1960 to 1966. The nuns terrorized us and slapped the living daylights out of us. Their lack of empathy does not surprise me at all

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scarlett1548 krgpat2003 March 27 2014 at 7:12 PM

I am a Catholic, & one thing i've learned over the years is that they break, so many Commandments.
It's a sorry thing to be a Catholic, now a days, embarrasing is the word..They molest young boys & they lie..
Being brought up Catholic was so different back then, you actually trusted the Priest, never heard of molestation or lying.. Now being disappointed, i finally find out the truth.. MONEY is all they care about. 10 % of your money is taken from your paycheck, For WHAT??? Donations are also required at Mass..I myself would like to know where the money goes. Where & Why is my question, does anyone know?
I still Pray everynight, I sill Believe in God, but gave up going to Mass every Sunday.. I am a very Disappointed Catholic!

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virgoseven March 27 2014 at 6:26 PM

if you paid for the headstone, then you should be able to remove it.

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Glenda March 27 2014 at 6:43 PM

If they want to a#@$%# about it and lie to the family about having changed it then here's what they do. Obviously it is causing the family great distress and anxiety, so see an attorney file a civil suit for damages and to pay to replace the headstone immediately. That should get the Diocese head out of their a#@$ so they will be more careful in the future to see it does not happen or if it does replace the headstone in a reasonable amount of time. Maybe the Diocese will think twice before insulting a families love one.

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Hi Sandra March 27 2014 at 6:59 PM

Right, they are going to fix it now that it has hit the internet? Bull,they have lied to the family for months, why would they correct it now?

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Jo Ellen March 27 2014 at 6:27 PM

My father was a vet of WW II and wanted to be buried in the Veterans section of the cemetery at home. When his memorial stone was finally set in place we were horrified to find it was gray instead of the traditional white veterans memorial. We demanded it be replaced with the correct color. After much discussion it was corrected at no additional cost to us. I feel that if your Mother's headstone was done incorrectly they should replace it at their cost. Don't give in. Make them make it right.

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muffin March 27 2014 at 6:42 PM

who paid for the headstone? If the family did, then who wrote what was to be on it? If the family did and gave it to the company to produce it, then who did not proofread the copy BEFORE it was sent to be engraved? I agree that the family needs it corrected. After five months of haggling, some documentation should be available to prove who said, wrote, requested, and so forth. Someone id not taking responsibility here. What is the cemetary going to discuss with the family?

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justworkinggirl March 27 2014 at 6:12 PM

It is shameful that the family had to get the media involved in order to get the mistake corrected.

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