St. Joseph Cemetery: Sold Out? A Myth!

It has long been a myth that St. Joseph Cemetery on Texas Street no longer has available plots to sell. I want to dispel that myth and the increased number of interested people contacting the Catholic Center to purchase or verify that plots are available will also dispel that myth.

This cemetery, any cemetery, is a tribute to our dead and can be an indication of how we wish to be cared for in death when it is our turn to go to God.  For that reason, the Facilities/Cemetery staff of the Diocese of Shreveport work diligently to maintain the respect and beauty of the cemetery.

Over the past several years improvement projects have included engraving the marble doors in the Chapel Mausoleum, installing a new irrigation system to maintain a water management program, erecting new perimeter fencing, professionally cleaning numerous statues and monuments, and inviting families and friends of the saints buried at St. Joseph to spend time in prayer and reflection and help to maintain family monuments and surrounding grounds.
Future projects may include: updating and replacing the maintenance building, air conditioning the chapel, adding street signage, erecting a sign with a map and ground layout, electronic programmable operators for the gates, additional walkways, and several other beautifying projects.

In an effort to determine the future building of additional mausoleum and/or columbarium structures, a survey of six questions was mailed to over 5,000 households in Bossier and Shreveport requesting interest in future structures, future expansions and additional beautification projects.  To date over 300 surveys have been returned.  Another mailing to the next radius of households including Benton, Haughton and Princeton will be going out shortly and we anxiously await those returns also.

Of course a cemetery demands a lot of care, a lot of time, a lot of sweat and tears. The Diocese of Shreveport tries to support the funding of those demands. The price of plots is nominal and any fees associated with burials, opening and closing graves and interments of remains are all based on the costs and the amount of manpower needed.  Many people also make donations to the cemetery throughout the year that help fund some of our projects.

Organizations and family groups have taken a real interest in helping us to maintain the cemetery. They are interested in holding family visitations and family prayer services in addition to the annual Blessing of the Graves on All Souls Day.  We ask that if you are interested in planning an event that you contact the Catholic Center (318-868-4441) to verify there is not a funeral scheduled, grounds maintenance or other activities that would preclude you from having access to the cemetery.

Perhaps a visit to St. Joseph Cemetery will give you an opportunity to reflect on past generations buried there. The following is a prayer you may want to say when visiting at a cemetery.

Almighty God, through the death of your Son on the cross you destroyed our death; through his rest in the tomb you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you; and through his rising again you restored us to eternal life.

God of the living and the dead, accept our prayers for those who have died in Christ and are buried with him in the hope of rising again. Since they were true to your name on earth, let them praise you forever in the joy of heaven.

(Excerpt from the English translation of the Order of Christian Funerals © 1985, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. (ICEL) All rights reserved)

by Randy Tiller, Director of Mission Effectiveness

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