Protect your family’s future



Aims to Help Families Understand Pre-Need Planning to Ease At-Need Burden


Planning for life events such as weddings, education for children, retirement, and other big decisions can help simplify the complex and bring about a sense of peace and assurance.  Preparing for unexpected significant events can be equally important to avoid last minute decisions made with urgency and stress.

The loss of a loved one is a significant life event that is often a time of sorrow, uncertainty, and worry.  To help ease this difficult time, Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark helps inform its faithful community how to pre-arrange cemetery memorialization before the need arises to alleviate unnecessary and additional hardship.

“A time of loss is a time of confusion, and final arrangements do not have to add to the uncertainty,” says Andrew P. Schafer, executive director of the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark.  “The worries of last-minute burial arrangements should not become part of a family’s grieving process, especially when experiencing profound sorrow.  It’s why we reach out regularly to families to inform them about the worthwhile benefits of pre-planning.”

Schafer explains that often times, grieving families attest to the appreciable difference of pre-set arrangements in easing their time of loss. “It allows family members to honor and celebrate the life of their departed loved one knowing their wishes are being carried out as pre-arranged,” he added.  “Deciding the details of cemetery arrangements in advance for yourself or a loved one may seem difficult, but putting a plan in place is a responsible and loving gesture that offers invaluable peace of mind.”

Open House Events for the Catholic Community

Catholic Cemeteries, a Ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark, will host open house events at several Archdiocesan cemeteries this spring.  Memorial Planning Advisors will be on hand to answer questions and share information about burial and cremation options, memorialization, and financial planning.


Upcoming open house weekends are as follows:

  • March 10 & 11 at Gate of Heaven Cemetery and Mausoleum, 225 Ridgedale Avenue in East Hanover
  • March 24 & 25 at Maryrest Cemetery and Mausoleum, 770 Darlington Avenue in Mahwah and at Christ the King Cemetery, 980 Huron Road in Franklin Lakes
  • April 7 & 8 at Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum, 340 Ridge Road in North Arlington
  • April 21 & 22 at Saint Gertrude Cemetery and Mausoleum, 53 Inman Avenue in Colonia
  • May 5 & 6 at Holy Name Cemetery and Mausoleum, 823 West Side Avenue in Jersey City


Each cemetery is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  No appointment is necessary.


About Catholic Cemeteries

Catholic Cemeteries, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark serving Catholic families for over 160 years, tends to the needs of individuals and families before, at the time of, and after death. This includes caring assistance with cemetery pre-planning, compassionate support at the time of death, facilitating a loved one’s interment in a holy place, support throughout bereavement, and perpetual cemetery care. The Archdiocese of Newark operates 10 Catholic cemeteries vital to the Catholic community for more than 160 years.  Over one million faithful are interred in its cemeteries, and daily care is provided for each holy place and the entirety of each cemetery, perpetually.  Catholic Cemeteries recognizes the deep religious significance of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy involved in the burial of and prayers for a loved one and the sanctity of the Order of Christian Funerals.


Catholic Cemeteries offers several videos online at to highlight the significance of the Church’s funeral rituals during a time of loss. Additionally, a free planning booklet titled Continuing the Journey, Preparing a Catholic Funeral offers information on coping with the death of a loved one, ministry resources at a time of loss, Scripture Readings for Funerals, practical preparations, information on pre-planning, and more.   To learn more, visit

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Photo: Catholic Cemeteries, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark serving Catholic families for over 160 years, will host open house events at several cemetery locations to assist families in learning more about cemetery pre-planning, cremation, memorialization, and financial planning. Visit  (Photo courtesy of Catholic Cemeteries)




March 1, 2018, Newark, NJ – Catholic Cemeteries, a Ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark, recently presented food and funds to two local Catholic charities that aid the area’s poor, low income, and homeless families.

Donations included 30 grocery bags packed with canned and boxed food products and $2,000 in cash and checks contributed by visitors and guests at multiple Catholic Cemeteries locations during the Christmas season. The food and money support the vital work of two Newark-based organizations dedicated to God’s healing mission: The Emergency Food & Nutrition Network of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark and The Missionary Sisters of Charity.

“Thanks to the generosity of our cemetery and mausoleum guests, those who go hungry within our communities can enjoy a meal and a sense of belonging,” said Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark. “Feeding the hungry is one of the most basic acts of loving kindness and is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy.  Donating to our food bank ministry on behalf of a departed loved one is a charitable act and a loving gift that truly honors their memory in a tangible way.”

The Emergency Food & Nutrition Network coordinates and supports a system of food pantries, donor churches, schools, community groups, and volunteers by providing assistance and emergency food supplies to 50 food centers in the Archdiocese of Newark.

The Missionary Sisters of Charity, founded by Saint Teresa of Calcutta, provides food and shelter primarily for women in the community. The center helps with daily meals, clothing, and career and emotional counseling.

To donate to the Catholic Cemeteries Food Bank Ministry, visit online at

FINAL IMAGE-check presentation revPHOTO: Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark (left), presents a check to John Westervelt, Chief Executive Officer of the Emergency Food & Nutrition Network of Catholic Charities (right), made possible by donations from contributing visitors at Catholic Cemeteries locations throughout the Archdiocese. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark)

FINAL IMAGE-IMG_20180126_102508729_HDR revPHOTO: Antonio Cunha (left) and Patsy Competiello (center) of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark deliver 30 bags of food donated by cemetery visitors to Ray Garcia (right) and his team of volunteers at the Emergency Food & Action Network of Catholic Charities in Newark. (Photo courtesy of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark)


“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”  – Matthew 25:35-36

Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum Voted #1 in America



Named 2017 “American Cemetery Excellence” Winner

ACE Winner COVER image_Page_1

NEWARK, N.J. – Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum in North Arlington, New Jersey, a property of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark, is the winner of the 2017 American Cemetery Excellence (ACE) Award.  The award is presented by American Cemetery & Cremation magazine, a leading publication serving the funeral and cemetery industry, and recognizes the most outstanding cemeteries both within the United States and abroad.


According to the magazine’s December issue, in which the winner was announced, “far more than just a final resting place, Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum offers a park-like setting, exquisite artwork, modern technology and a faith-inspired atmosphere. It’s easy to understand why Holy Cross Cemetery & Mausoleum has been selected as our seventh annual American Cemetery Excellence award winner.”


“We received dozens of entries from cemeteries – all of them doing great things to serve their communities,” said Allison Sullivan, publisher of Kates-Boylston Publications. “But Holy Cross stood out in so many ways, and it truly exemplifies that cemeteries can continue to be relevant and beautiful.”


“It is an honor to be recognized with this prestigious award,” said Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries. “It recognizes our team’s commitment to our mission of faith and to the excellent service provided to bereaved families and our Catholic community.  We are very proud of this distinction.”


Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum offers an environment in which families feel welcome and comforted at a time when they need it most.  Established in 1915 to meet the needs of Catholic families, almost 300,000 individuals are interred in the 200-acre cemetery.


The artwork, headstones and private family mausoleums at Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum are evidence of timeless Catholic traditions that are deeply intertwined in the cemetery’s heritage.  However, the cemetery also has moved full-speed ahead with cutting-edge technology and architecture, innovative product choices, excellent customer service and unsurpassed beauty and grandeur.  The cemetery is a unique and holy place that allows families to memorialize and remember their departed loved ones in a beautiful, inviting and faith-filled atmosphere. It is a holy place with a museum-like characteristic and is recognized as one of the most magnificent cemeteries in the country.


Central to the cemetery is its 250,000-square-foot mausoleum – a modern marvel that spanned 37 years of construction and expansion.  The Genesis Mausoleum Chapel, which was completed in 2013, features 90 major works of art, including numerous original statues, 100-year-old stained and etched glass and accompanying liturgical works of art.


The breathtaking mausoleum expansion combines ancient scriptures and contemporary art in an effort to transform the unsettling reputation of cemeteries and mausoleums into a welcoming place filled with beautiful and meaningful symbols that inspire faith and hope.


According to Schafer, it is the commitment to families and attention to detail that has contributed to the cemeteries unique and special qualities. “It’s all about finding out what the needs are and filling them,” Schafer said.  “Over the years we have tried to respond to our families’ needs to the best of our ability in a respectful, dignified way.”


The cemetery was featured prominently in media coverage last fall when the town of North Arlington was named as one of Money magazine’s top 10 places to live in the U.S.  According to The Record newspaper, “the working-class Bergen County municipality may be best known to outsiders for its vast Holy Cross Cemetery…”


Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum was an ACE Award runner-up in 2016, as was Maryrest Cemetery and Mausoleum in Mahwah, New Jersey, one of Newark’s Archdiocesan cemeteries, which received the runner-up distinction in 2013.


To learn more about Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum and the Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark, visit


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Genesis Chapel
The Genesis Chapel in Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum features more than 90 major works of art contributing to its museum-like characteristic.

Holy Cross landscape pic

An exterior view of the Genesis Chapel addition to Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum in North Arlington, New Jersey.

Pieta statue

A 15-foot marble statue with wooden cross of the Rondanini Pieta was imported from Italy and is now located outside of Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum.

Canopy Under which StJPII Celebrated Mass

Saint John Paull II celebrated the Eucharist beneath this steel canopy in 1995 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The canopy is now located on the grounds of Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum in North Arlington, New Jersey.


Nutley Priest Concelebrates Canonization Mass with Pope

Italian Tribune Canonization Mass 11-2-17 archiv

Click above link for complete story

News images courtesy of The Italian Tribune

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Cemetery Sunday




All Souls Day, November 2, and Cemetery Sunday, November 4, are days when the church remembers those who have died.  Why not make one of these days special by visiting the Catholic cemetery where your loved ones are buried?  While there, offer a personal prayer at this sacred place, blessed and set aside as their final resting place. Your remembrance of them will bring you peace and comfort.

Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark, serving Catholics for over 160 years, invites you to join Catholics nationwide to visit and pray for departed loved ones on these special days.

Additionally, you are invited to Newark’s Cathedral Basilica on Sunday, November 5th, 2017, at 4:00 PM, for a free concert in honor of the faithful departed featuring the Cathedral Choir and musical works of Dvorák, Mozart, Duruflé, and others.

For more information, visit



 In 1978, the national Catholic Cemetery Conference proposed that Cemetery Sunday should be observed on the first Sunday in November. We believe there is and always will be a connection between us and those who have died.

The Catholic community prepares to celebrate Cemetery Sunday on Sunday, November 5, 2017. We are a people who remember and pray. We set aside Cemetery Sunday to pray for the deceased and visit the graves of loved ones and friends in a show of respect to those who have gone before us.

To learn more about Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark, visit