Options to Meet Your Needs

by | Jul 10, 2024

I recently attended my College of St. Benedict class reunion along with my former college roommates.  (Where do the years go?!)  Now that I’m here at The Catholic Cemeteries, it seems that friends and family are always curious about our work, so it seemed inevitable that my conversation with my friends turned to cemetery talk.  Call me the life of the party!  They were curious about different types of burial options.  None had ever heard of an ossuary or a cremation boulder.  And none had made any plans for their own burial.  None had discussed the topic with their children to see if they had any feelings about where and how their parents are buried.   I guess we’re so busy living that we don’t take time to think about dying.  And yet, no one has ever made it out of this world alive!

Here at The Catholic Cemeteries, we strive to provide a wide range of burial options to meet people’s needs and desires because we know there are also a wide range of feelings and values around a permanent resting place.  Each of our cemeteries include different types of options.

Like my friends, are you wondering what on earth an ossuary is?  It’s a columbarium or granite structure that contains niches for urns, but the central core of an ossuary is empty.  The cremated remains of an individual are placed in a velveteen bag and placed in that central core of the ossuary.  Names and birth/death years are engraved on a band around the ossuary.  It’s our least expensive method of burial at $995.  This fall, we will be adding two ossuaries adjacent to our chapel mausoleum.  Because each ossuary is also a columbarium, they include niches for urns; both single and companion niches.  Niches are also available as part of our mausoleum, as are full-body crypts for those who prefer to be interred above ground.

On the west of the chapel mausoleum, we have cremation boulders.  These are indeed granite boulders which contain spaces carved in the rock to place special receptacles for cremated remains.

An option that is growing in interest is natural or “green” burial. In fact, we are expanding our natural burial area this fall.  Behind our chapel mausoleum is a beautiful, natural prairie area that is maintained for us by Prairie Restoration.  It’s filled with native plants, pollinators and butterflies.  Burials there involved no embalming of the body, no vault, and biodegradable burial options such as a wooden coffin with no metal handles or screws, a woven basket of bamboo, willow or seagrass, or a simple shroud.  There is no individual memorial for each grave, but rather, names of the deceased are engraved on one granite monument for each section.  Each section is named for a saint.  This fall, we are adding sections for St. Paul, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Catherine, and St. Thomas Acquinas.  (For the Katies and Tommies out there!)

Plans are in the works to create a “cremation forest” that would be something of a cremation counterpart to natural burial.  Biodegradable urns would be placed along a meandering path in a forest setting with small, simple markers for each individual so as to maintain the natural setting.

There are still more options such as lawn crypts (kind of like a mausoleum for one or two), estate lots for families, and of course, traditional in-ground burial for caskets as well as urns.

If you’re curious about these various options, please join us at our open house on August 7th between 10am – 1pm. No pressure, just information and support to learn about options and see what feels right for you. Then you, too, can be the life of the party when you explain options to your friends and family!

We would love to know what you think of these burial options!  To see what each of these options looks like, click the button below and tell us which you would pick as your final resting place.  Your responses will help us in our future planning!

Here at The Catholic Cemeteries we offer sacred grounds for eternal rest. No matter how the world around us changes, each of our cemeteries offers a peaceful and permanent place to visit and remember your loved one.