1. Why are vigil lights, small statues, or other similar decorations not permitted?
Planting regulations reflect the need to address both safety and maintenance concerns. Besides the possibility of loss or damage, such items impede the care and maintenance of the cemetery by interfering with our trimming crews. Also, hard plastic or metal objects hit by a trimmer can become a flying projectile capable of hitting another worker or a visitor. As part of a community, our desires need to be balanced in consideration of those around us and we appreciate your understanding.
2. Why can't artificial flowers be used all year long?
Though permitted during the winter months, artificial flowers impede maintenance during the growing season. A planted flower bed will help to restrict the growth of weeds, while artificial decorations do not. Weeds can also grow through the artificial decoration, making it extremely difficult to maintain the site.
3. It doesn't appear that the area around my monument has been trimmed lately.
Catholic Cemeteries follows a regular maintenance schedule which includes mowing at least weekly and trimming around memorials at least once every two weeks. However, since weeds do thrive during peak periods of spring rains as well as during the dry summer season, it may appear that your site hasn’t received recent care. Should you feel particular attention is warranted, please feel free to speak with one of our service representatives.
4. When we visiting our gravesite, fresh soil is now where grass had previously been established, was my gravesite opened or disturbed?
Our field/office staff take very seriously their responsibilities for those entrusted to our care. It is possible that some natural settling may have occurred and your site has received additional soil. If an interment has occurred nearby, the turf of your and neighboring sites may have been disturbed due to the sandy nature of the soil as well as the depth and equipment used to open that site. When your grave was originally opened, the turf layer of adjacent sites were similarly affected. However, please note that only the uppermost turf layer is disturbed. If field staff consider it necessary to remove plants or your monument to protect them from damage, they will be replaced as soon as possible. Monuments will be replaced after the interment is completed, and wherever possible, plantings are replaced as soon as weather conditions allow us to re-seed/restore the site. While full restoration is not possible during the winter months, all needed sites are reseeded as soon as weather conditions permit. To grow new turf, the entire area will be “hydro-seeded” with a mixture of seed, fertilizer, mulch, and a green-tinted gel binder which absorbs/holds moisture. Please note that this hydro seeding process will not damage or discolor monuments.
5. Why can't bushes / shrubs be placed on single & double gravesites?
An 18″ planting area in front of each memorial is permitted to allow families to personalize their site. Unfortunately, while a bush/shrub may be very small when planted, over time it will grow to impede maintenance, even to the point of encroaching upon another grave. Such plantings may, therefore, be removed without notice.
6. Why is the turf around some grave sections thriving well, while the grass near my grave appears to be dried out?
While some newer sections of the cemeteries have been developed with underground irrigation systems, most older sections were not. As a result, these sections must rely on natural rains. Please know that while grass frequently goes into a “dormant” state during a dry season, it will typically green-up again when water is available. However, in the event you feel that re-seeding is necessary, please feel free to speak with one of our service representatives.
7. Does endowed care cover my memorial?
Endowed care does not cover the maintenance of personal gravesite memorials which are the responsibility of the individual owner(s). Endowed care (included as part of a gravesite or crypt purchase, or when converting an annual care contract) provides for the general care and maintenance of a grave/crypt. For gravesites, this includes maintaining the general appearance of the site along with the cemeteries, and for restoring turf on the gravesite whenever necessary. Crypt endowed care provides the care and maintenance of the community mausoleum in which your crypt is located.
8. Why is my monument sinking and is there a charge to raise it?
Unfortunately, even with the newest technology of installing beams/piers to support memorials, over time, it is still possible that a granite memorial will begin to sink into the lighter-density soil/sand earth. Should you wish to have a memorial raised, the Cemeteries can raise and recap the foundation at a reasonable fee.
9. Is it necessary to bury / entomb the cremated body of a loved one?
In keeping with the Church’s tradition, the cremated body is to be treated with the same respect we give to the body of the deceased. Scattering, dividing or keeping cremated remains at home are not considered the reverent disposition that the Church requires. Cremated remains are to be buried/entombed, preferably in a Catholic Cemetery, and following all the rites provided by the Order of Christian Funerals. Should you wish additional information on cremation, please read the New York State Catholic Conference brochure Catholic Teaching on Cremation by clicking here.