Welcome to The Office of Catholic Cemeteries, Diocese of Rockford
What does Catholic Cemeteries offer?
Sometimes people will ask us that question. When they do, we struggle to find the right words to offer as a response. Words that will describe not just the products we offer, the graves that we care for, the burial of the deceased, or the overall grounds that we try to improve, because there is so much more in our offering.
“Eternity is born in time, and every time someone dies whom we have loved dearly, Eternity can break into our mortal existence a little bit more.” – Henri Nouwen
2021 Flower Decorations
Posted March, 2021
Our 2021 flower decorations are now available. Click here to purchase online. We encourage you to order early – we will substitute items if we are sold out of the item you ordered.
2021 Spring Newsletter
Posted March, 2021
So much snow this year, it is hard to believe that Spring is just 6 weeks away. And Easter is April 4th. February is a short month, hopefully all the snow will be gone by March 1st, which is when we hope to start cleaning up the Winter Decorations, tamp and seed the winter graves, and prepare for the growing season. The 2021 flower package is within these pages – order early. There will be a mailing in the fall with the Christmas items that will be available.
Beyond Easter, we also have Memorial Day coming up. At this time (February) Covid is still among us, so we are unsure whether we will be able to offer Masses at our Cemeteries. Please watch your local bulletin, the Observer, or our website for updates.
Many people ask us about cremation, does the Catholic Church approve of it? The Church’s teaching can be found in the OCF (Order of Christian Funerals #19) and Canon #1176. These documents of the Church do allow Cremation – “Since in baptism the body was marked with the seal of the Trinity and became the temple of the Holy Spirit, Christians respect and honor the bodies of the dead and the places where they rest.” It does not forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons contrary to Christian teaching.
“The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the human body from which they come. This includes using a worthy vessel, the manner in how they are carried, the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition. The cremated remains should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium. Scattering cremated remains on the sea, from the air, or on the ground, or keeping cremated remains in a home, are not the reverent disposition that the Church requires.” (OCF #417)
We wish all of you a prayer-filled Lent and a Blessed Easter. Just a reminder: Ash Wednesday is February 17, 2021.
Updates for cemetery policies during coronavirus
Posted March, 2020
In light of the constant updates from government officials and statements from the Diocese regarding the coronavirus, the Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Rockford would like to inform you of the current conditions involving burials and burial planning.
The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy and a very important part of our physical, spritual and emotional well-being related to the loss of a loved one and we will work to continue to serve you during this current environment by following the following guidelines, effective immediately:
- Funerals: Funerals should proceed with immediate family members only, not to exceed the recommended number from the county health department. It is strongly recommended that no one from a vulnerable population attend. Social distancing (six feet) should be observed by all attendees and the Committal of the Body Service will be done at the grave site; again, with immediate family not to exceed the county’s recommendation. The committal service will include an above ground setup and tent. Chairs will not be provided. The setup equipment is being sanitized before every service, and again after the service is completed.
- Offices: Our cemetery offices will be open to assist with the selection of burial spaces for AT NEED situations where a death is imminent. Our office will NOT be open for any other business, including but not limited to genealogies, decoration purchases, etc.. Decorations can be ordered by mail, email, fax, or in our online store on this website. If purchasing through the online store, please remember to include the name of deceased and cemetery prior to checkout.
The conditions in which we may operate are constantly changing so please check this website for updates.
We can offer assistance with many questions, issues and concerns that you may have over the phone or through our website as well. Please feel free to visit the website or call prior to coming out to the cemetery. The number for each cemetery is listed on the contact us page.
Updated Cemetery App Now Available
Posted January 9, 2020
We have an updated app available. Download the app and search the records of the cemetery. Each person has their own memorial page where visitors can share memories, stories, photos and videos that will build an interactive timeline of their loved one’s life.
Online Map Available
Posted May, 2019
We have new searchable maps of Mt Hope and Calvary Cemetery available online to help locate your loved ones. Search by first, middle, or last name, year of birth, or year of death.
ST. MARY/ST. JAMES COLUMBARIUM
Posted October, 2016
As part of the ministry of Catholic Cemeteries, we are offering to any person who has the cremated remains of a loved one, and who cannot afford the cost of burying their loved one in a Catholic Cemetery, a communal space in the columbarium shown below.