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Eligibility

Burial, entombment or inurnment in the blessed ground of a consecrated Catholic cemetery is integral to the Catholic funeral tradition as the Catholic cemetery images the communion of saints. By peaceful rest among other believers, in silence our beloved deceased still proclaim their belief in the resurrection and Christ's promise of eternal life to those who follow Him. Those who request burial within a Catholic cemetery are making this profession of faith.

While the Catholic cemeteries are intended for the interment of Catholics and members of their families who have the right to Christian burial according to the rules of discipline of the Roman Catholic church, we are also called upon to extend charity, compassion, and understanding to the extended families of our membership. Relatives of Catholics who understand and accept the faith statement being made by burial in a Catholic cemetery would typically be welcome to be interred with their Catholic family members. The cemetery superintendent or his/her delegate has the authority to make this determination with the recommendation of a priest.

Clergy, however, do not grant legal authority for interments on pre-owned or existing graves, i.e. the placement of cremated remains; the certificate-holder (owner) of the space, or if the original owner is deceased, all entitled heirs must grant this authorization in writing. The cemetery authority facilitates this consent process.

At the time of a death in a family, there are many obligations that fall upon survivors. By handling the selection of interment space in advance of need, the time surrounding a death may be more appropriately devoted to family members supporting one another and proper planning for the liturgical rites that will celebrate the deceased's movement to eternal life.

 

Interment Arrangements

For Catholics, burial in a Catholic cemetery is a baptismal right; for those who do not possess this right, it is a privilege. Catholic cemeteries are intended for the interment of Catholics, catechumens, and members of their families who have this right to Christian burial according to the rules of the Roman Catholic church. Questions concerning the burial of a family member of another religious tradition should first be referred to the cemetery authority. Burial arrangements are typically facilitated through the funeral home selected by the family. The right of interment certificate is the governing cemetery document. When an ownership certificate is not already held, it's best if selections are made by the family at the cemetery.

When space on an existing lot is available, but a designation of interment form has not been filed with the cemetery, and the certificate-holder is deceased and has not specifically passed the certificate rights through a will, a legal order of succession is followed. The succession begins with the surviving spouse and the owner's children; in the absence of both, then to the owner's parents. If no parents are living, then the succession passes to the owner's brothers and sisters equally, then to the owner's closest next of kin. Further detail is found in the official cemetery Rules & Regulations.

An interment space is used for ground burial, crypt entombment or niche inurnment. When a family wishes to include cremated remains in a full ground burial or mausoleum crypt interment space, the number of available certificate rights in the particular space is determined by space availability, memorialization capability, and the discretion of cemetery management. It is expected that all Catholic committals in Catholic cemeteries will be celebrated by a priest, deacon, or pastoral minister from the parish of the deceased.

At the time of interment, management reserves the right to limit the number of floral tributes to two [2] pieces. Flowers must be delivered to the ground interment site prior to the movement of the deceased to the grave. Flowers are not permitted inside any mausoleum. Flowers placed on a grave at the time of burial will remain, at the discretion of management, up to 72 hours, but the cemetery cannot ensure that these items will remain in place.


The Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral owns and operates Calvary, Gate of Heaven, Ascension and Resurrection cemeteries.