Who May be Buried in a Catholic Cemetery?
The church expects the burial of Catholics in Catholic cemeteries. To avoid breaking close family ties, non-Catholic members of Catholic families may be interred in a Catholic cemetery. In the Diocese, Catholic burial, including the funeral Mass, is permitted for a baptized non-Catholic who might reasonably be presumed to desire or prefer Catholic burial services. Such a decision would be appropriate where the non-Catholic party worshipped regularly at the Catholic Church or identified with the Catholic Church more than any other.
Beautiful ground burial options are available at all cemeteries. The sacred gardens are a place of hope where Catholic symbols are displayed with dignity and reverence. These quiet places are the perfect setting for private meditation, prayer, or a peaceful walk.There are a variety of memorialization options available. From flat grave markers to upright monuments and statuary, families can design meaningful and lasting tributes to loved ones.
Mausoleum Entombment/Garden Crypts
Mausoleum crypts are available for above ground burial either in climate controlled buildings or outside garden buildings. Early Church history tells us the first mausoleum was built in 353 BC for King Mausolus, from whose name the word “mausoleum” was derived. Additionally, scripture tells us in Luke 23:52-54, that Joseph of Arimathea “went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put him in a tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid.” Throughout the Church’s history, above ground, mausoleum-style entombment has been utilized. Early Christians were buried in the catacombs. In older churchyard cemeteries private mausoleums can be found, but because of their costs they were available only to the affluent. Today, community mausoleum facilities make above ground burial surprisingly affordable. Mausoleum entombment is very comparable in cost to ground burial, and in many instances can be less.
On April 20, 1914, Bishop Alerding contracted with the Standard Mausoleum Company of Findley, Ohio, to erect the Mausoleum at the Catholic Cemetery. The architect was Charles Weatherhoog. The building was complete in 1918 and Bishop Alerding dedicated it on All Souls Day of that year. The original building contained 340 crypts including 5 family rooms, 4 of which were sold before construction started. The exterior of the building is of fluted Bedford stone. All doors are of bronze and all windows contain stained glass. The interior walls, base, and floor are of Italian marble. The building was remodeled in the mid-1970s. The area where the altar once stood was converted into 36 double crypts. These have oak fronts with bronze lettering and numbering. This then forms the background for the interment chapel. An heroic wood sculpture of the Risen Christ hangs over the corridor with a smaller version of the Blessed Mother in the background. A new ramp walk was installed from the parking lot to the front door, making it easily accessible with no steps to ascend. In 1999, the entire building inside and out was reconditioned and restored. The interior was redone and stenciled, the old main altar was reconstituted and contains a first class relic of Saint John Neumann. The chapel is now one of the most beautiful interment chapels in the Fort Wayne area. Resurrection Mausoleum is the oldest Catholic community mausoleum in the United States.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Garden Crypt
The Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini unit of the Mausoleum/Garden Crypt Complex began in the summer of 1979. This Garden Crypt contains 288 exterior crypt spaces. The Bedford, Indiana, limestone sculpture was designed by local artist Hector Garcia and the stone cut by Tim Doyle.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Garden Crypt
Elizabeth Ann Seton had a deep devotion to the Eucharist, Sacred Scripture and the Virgin Mary. The 23rd Psalm was her favorite prayer throughout her life. She was a woman of prayer and service who embraced the spirituality of Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul. It had been her original intention to join the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, but the embargo of France, due to the Napoleonic Wars, prevented this connection. A number of Roman Catholic Churches are named for Mother Seton. This includes St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish located on the south-west side of Fort Wayne. Pope Paul VI canonized her on September 14, 1975 in a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square. In his words, “Elizabeth Ann Seton was wholly American! Rejoice for your glorious daughter. Be proud of her. And know how to preserve her fruitful heritage.”
The Saint John Neumann Garden Crypt
The garden crypt dedicated to St. John Neumann is the third of several such units planned for the beautifully landscaped Catholic Cemetery of Fort Wayne. This unit provides 288 exterior crypt spaces. Sculpture work on this building is Indiana limestone from the Bedford, Indiana, quarries. The crypt fronts are carnelian granite and the roofs are Saint Cloud Gray granite. The trim is Indiana limestone. The sculpture was designed by artist Allison Adams with the stone carving done by Tim Doyle.
Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin Mausoleum/Garden Crypt and Chapel
This mausoleum/garden crypt was dedicated in May 2001 by Bishop John M. D'Arcy. Present were the Mother Superior and representatives of the Sisters of Providence. The new Mausoleum/Garden Crypt and Chapel dedicated to Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin is the fourth of such units planned for the beautifully landscaped Catholic Cemetery. This 432 crypt/132 niche mausoleum/garden crypt with chapel, all designed and built by Granit Bronz CSG, Inc. of Cold Spring, Minnesota, contains 156 outside double crypt spaces, 24 outside single crypt spaces, 48 outside single cremation niche spaces, 48 inside double mausoleum spaces, and 84 inside single cremation niche spaces, providing burial space for 564 people. The entire exterior of the structure is granite. Dual finished Carnelian granite is used for the exterior crypt fronts with polished Plum Rose granite being used on the interior crypt and niche fronts. Sunset Red thermal finished granite trim the exterior. Sunset Red polished finish granite with carving accents trim the interior. Square foot 3/8” thick thermal Lac du Bonnet granite tile surround the interior floor perimeter of the main chapel area. Carpeting from England finishes off the interior floor. The interior chapel area also features a Knotty Pine tongue and groove wood ceiling. A forced air natural gas heating and an air conditioning system control the building's interior climate. Insulated glass line the front and back entrances.
Personalized Private Estates
Private mausoleum estates serve as an exclusive and lasting tribute to your family for many generations. Constructed from beautiful solid granite a variety of distinctively designed personal mausoleums are available and can provide for entombment of one to sixteen family members.
Private Family Ground Burial Estates
The family estates are unique and individualized tributes to you and your family. Estates can range from four spaces to hundreds – all in one beautiful location.
Cremation For Catholics
Many of the practices popular today such as scattering of the ashes or the keeping of them in places other than a Catholic cemetery are NOT in keeping with the Church’s long tradition of respectful care and the proper burial of the bodily remains of our deceased. Cremated remains should be buried or entombed in Catholic cemeteries according to the directives prescribed in the Christian Burial Guidelines of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Our Catholic cemeteries have garden areas for the ground burial of cremated remains, and granite niches are available in mausoleum buildings.