St. Joseph Cemetery Updates

By Kate Rhea

Catholic cemeteries reflect an affirmation of many beliefs held sacred by the Catholic  faithful. Among those beliefs are the sanctity of all human life, respect for the bodies of the deceased, and dignity of the faithful departed interred within the sacred ground of a Catholic cemetery.

For all of their functionality and importance, cemeteries tend to be forgotten about over the generations for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, within that trend of neglect, there are always those who wish to keep older, historically important cemeteries alive and thriving.

In the early years of the 20th century, just a short time after St. Joseph Cemetery was established, cemeteries were shifting from being purposefully constructed away from cities and out of the everyday life of citizens, to being mindfully curated spaces where people could congregate to pay their respects in many different ways. Cemetery picnics were popular in the early 20th century, allowing for fellowship for families with deceased loved ones. Catholic cemeteries in particular began to be established with the intent of providing ministry of consolation to mourners, rather than simply a place to bury the dead.

With the rise of genealogy as a hobby over the last decade, hearts and minds are beginning to return to discovering the past. Family members hoping to delve into their personal lineage, historians studying pioneers of the past, and hobbyists interested in the social and cultural chronicles of their city all find themselves looking to cemeteries for answers.

Looking to the future of St. Joseph Cemetery, teeming with the remnants of rich personal histories of local families, many of which serve as a testament to the growth of our city, it is easy to understand how preservation and documentation are paramount to understanding not only the past, but the future as well.

Thanks to the generosity of faithful Catholics in our diocese, renovations to the martyred yellow fever priests’ memorial are going well. The steps are completed, the crypts are being restructured, and we will be ordering the granite replacement tops soon. For more information on how you can donate to this project and future projects, please contact the Catholic Center.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>