Cardinal’s Initiative

In response to reports from his priests that financial considerations prevented some families from maintaining the long-held tradition of burial or inurnment in a Catholic cemetery, Cardinal Timothy Dolan in 2017 launched an initiative to welcome more Catholics to cemeteries operated by the Trustees of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. The program expands some longstanding practices and adds other new opportunities.

There are four elements to the initiative:

  • By tradition, stillborn children are buried and memorialized at no cost in a communal Guardian of Angels section.
  • A new St. Joseph of Arimathea section was established for the low-cost communal burial and memorialization of cremated remains.
  • A new Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary section was developed at Ascension Cemetery to offer reduced-cost standard burial for people with limited means, as confirmed by their pastor.
  • Catholics declared indigent by local civil authorities have always been buried at no cost in our cemeteries. The names of Catholics in the Saint Francis of Assisi section are engraved on a communal marker.

To take part of the Cardinal’s Initiative, you must be referred by your pastor. If you would like to schedule to meet with one of our counselors, please fill out the form on our Preplanning page, and receive a free copy of the “St. Patrick’s Cathedral: The Legacy of the Church of the United States” special edition, as a token of appreciation with no obligation to purchase. Book value is $40 – click the button below for a preview.

Original Cardinal’s Initiative letter