Our cemeteries are maintained in a uniform fashion that reflects the church’s teachings about the dignity of every human person. Staff responsibilities include the regular mowing of grass, trimming around monuments and memorials, fertilization and weed control. The perpetual care fund enables each cemetery to seed new graves, repair older graves, level flush memorials, and repair monument foundations as required. For reasons of uniform beauty as well as safety and insurance concerns, only employees or licensed contractors with permits from cemetery management may cut, fertilize, and add chemicals to the landscape.
- Mausoleum Grounds: The turf and landscape surrounding community mausoleums are landscaped and maintained by the cemetery. Disturbing the turf or planted areas is not permitted. Any unauthorized trees, shrubbery, bushes, flowers or other decorations placed on the common landscape will be removed without notice.
- Shrubbery: No cemetery landscape items may be used for individual grave decoration. Management cannot control growth and assure pruning or removal when shrubbery grows too large. Therefore, new shrubbery is permitted only in carefully controlled situations. When shrubbery overshadows names on monuments, infringes on adjoining graves, or interferes with cemetery operations, it will be immediately removed without notice. Typically, overgrown items will be identified for removal each year prior to Memorial Day. Time will be allowed for families to contact the cemetery office to claim shrubbery; if responsible parties have not responded by August 1st, overgrown items will be discarded.
- Water: During all but freezing months, water outlets that operate in the cemeteries enable families to tend to the flowers and plants placed at graves. Outlets are not intended for lawn sprinkling devices; when found, these will be removed.
- Refuse: Because of recycle and disposal challenges, we are becoming “carry-in/carry-out” facilities. A limited number of receptacles for extenuating circumstances are still located at each cemetery; trash, however, should never be abandoned along cemetery roadways.
- American flags are flown daily in designated areas over Calvary and Allied Cemeteries to honor the military service of all veterans. Smaller (8″ x 12″ maximum) national and public service flags are permitted on individual graves. All flags must be presentable and will be removed and disposed of according to established flag protocols.
In general, the regulations are intended to respect the memory of the deceased and create a harmonious environment. Decorations must not create a safety hazard, impede proper maintenance, infringe on other graves, diminish the Catholic character of the cemetery, or offend others. Cemetery personnel may remove non-compliant or unsightly decorations at any time. All decorations are removed four times each year, typically in February, June, September and November to ensure a thorough cleaning of the properties. Notifications of the clean-up times are posted in advance at cemetery entrances and in Catholic New York, the newspaper of the Archdiocese. If families desire to retain decorations, they must remove them prior to the scheduled clean-up dates. Regrettably, the volume of decorations precludes claiming items after they have been removed.