Students Bring Life to Local Cemetery by Building Birdhouses

Students Bring Life to Local Cemetery by Building Birdhouses

Teens Learn Value of Remembrance and Cemeteries

Many teens spend summer days lounging in front of a computer or by a pool, but for 40 youths in the Archdiocese of Newark, visiting a local Catholic cemetery this summer to build and install birdhouses is part of a weeklong community service program.

Students from Bergen, Union, and Passaic counties recently visited Saint Gertrude Cemetery and Mausoleum in Colonia, New Jersey, to build and mount birdhouses in hopes of attracting more wildlife to the cemetery, and to learn about the significance of Catholic cemeteries.  Their visit was hosted by Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark and was part of a weeklong work camp program with the archdiocese’s Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, during which students spend a week performing various community services such as painting churches and serving food at soup kitchens. A new teen group visited and toured Saint Gertrude Cemetery daily to learn about the ministry as a Corporal Work of Mercy and burial and remembrance in the Catholic faith.

“The program aims to educate students about the value of cemeteries and to demonstrate that they are positive, uplifting places where one can reflect, pray, and remember a departed loved one,” said Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries. “Building birdhouses is a good activity for the teens and fits nicely with the park-like setting of our cemeteries. The birdhouses are symbolic since birds bring life and nature to the cemetery and help visitors during the healing process when mourning a loss. It is a beautiful representation of the cycle of nature and life.”

Students also were offered an opportunity to personalize their birdhouses in memory of a departed loved one to help make the project more special and meaningful. Names of departed loved ones were collected from teens early in the day, and miniature memorialization name plaques were provided later for placement on the birdhouses.

“This has proven to be a great interactive program that can help a younger generation understand loss and remembrance in our faith, demystify the cemetery, and provide a memorial opportunity,” added Schafer. “Many teens have returned with parents or grandparents to visit and see the completed birdhouses and say a prayer for a departed loved one.”

Catholic Cemeteries has hosted the birdhouse-building program since 2013.  It was recognized with a First Place award by the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association for best in personalization of an event in the cemetery and funeral service profession.

To learn more about preparing for a Catholic funeral, pre-arranging a cemetery memorialization, or about Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark, visit www.CatholicJourney.org.

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RIGHTS OF CERTIFICATE HOLDERS

RIGHTS OF CERTIFICATE HOLDERS
THE NEW JERSEY CEMETERY ACT OF 2003 HAS BEEN PASSED BY the State Legislature. This law, which in most respects does not apply to Roman Catholic Cemeteries, is less than a model of clarity. However, based upon the provisions which may apply to Catholic cemeteries, the Newark Archdiocesan Cemetery Program, adopts the following articles. In case of any dispute as to the right to burial or any rights related thereto (including memorials, embellishments and care for the burial spaces), the matter shall be submitted to the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark or his designee, whose decision shall be final and binding upon all persons who have any interest therein.

1. The right to burial can be purchased only with the written approval of the Archdiocese of Newark Catholic Cemeteries and subject to the Rules and Regulations of the Cemetery Program, now or hereafter adopted, and for the purposes of human burial only. This provision applies to all sales.

2. The right to burial includes interment, entombment and inurnment. For purposes of this section only, all of these forms of burial shall be referred to as “burial”, and the location of the burial shall be referred to as a “burial space.”

3. A Certificate of Right of Interment (herein “Certificate”) is a legal document which evidences a right to burial in one or more burial spaces. The Certificate-holder is the person whose name appears on the Certificate at the time of purchase.

4. All burial spaces in the cemetery, as evidenced by the Certificate, whether purchased or transferred, shall be subject to:

A. All applicable laws and governmental regulations;

B. The franchise, charter, certificate of incorporation or other document establishing the Archdiocesan Cemetery Program or individual cemetery;

C. All by-laws of the Archdiocesan Cemetery Program or individual cemetery;

D. These Archdiocese of Newark Catholic Cemeteries’ Rules and Regulations.

5.1 The Archdiocese of Newark Catholic Cemeteries does not transfer title to property, but only the right to be buried, i.e., a burial interest – as evidenced by a Certificate of Right of Interment.

5.2 Within the Archdiocesan Cemetery Program, the Certificate can be in the name of only one person except for a married couple – who may jointly hold it as husband and wife. The Certificate-holder possesses general rights of burial for all spaces, i.e. grave, crypt, niche.
After purchase and designation of the Certificate-holder, the right to burial in the burial spaces held by the Certificate-holder or anyone else cannot be sold to anyone other than the Cemetery from which such right was originally purchased.

Thus, the right to burial can only be sold back to the Cemetery. However, the Cemetery is under no obligation to repurchase, but may do so if it desires to do so and upon such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate.

5.3 There are two types of burial interest stemming from the Certificate-holder’s general rights: (1) The right to designate persons (designees) for burial in a specific burial space; and (2) a common burial right in undesignated burial spaces. The Certificate-holder’s common interest in undesignated burials in the grave, crypt or niche may be passed on by the Certificate-holder in his/her Will or, in the absence thereof, according to the principles of successions as documented herein.

5.4 At the time of acquiring the Certificate, the Certificate-holder should designate in writing one (1) person, a “Designee”, for each burial space in the grave, crypt or niche. The Certificate-holder can change the Designee at any time during his/her life, so long as the Certificate-holder signs and dates a writing, which is then filed with the Cemetery, designating the burial space, the name of the former Designee and the name of the new Designee.

Designee(s) shall be permitted burial by the Cemetery notwithstanding any other common burial rights passing from the Certificate-holder to heirs or next of kin (under a Will or otherwise). Thus, unless changed by a Certificate-holder before his/her death, a Designee’s burial in a specific burial space is given priority over all others, including those who have a common burial right derived from the Certificate-holder. After the death of the Certificate-holder, a Designee may waive his/her right to burial in the burial space in a signed and dated writing, which the Designee must file with the Cemetery (such waiver will also be deemed to occur if the Designee is buried outside the Cemetery).

Similarly, after the death of the Certificate-holder, a Designee may name a Replacement Designee by filing a signed, dated Replacement Designee Form with the Cemetery. Once filed, the person filing the form will no longer have any rights as a Designee.

If a Designee formally waives his/her right to burial, or dies and is buried outside the Cemetery without naming a Replacement Designee, then the right to burial reverts back to the heirs of the deceased Certificate-holder pursuant to common burial rights as explained herein.

Exception: Notwithstanding the foregoing, a spouse of the Certificate-holder has a right to be buried in one (1) burial space. This right shall be satisfied from common burial rights if available (see paragraph 6 below), or if none are available, by using the last named Designee’s space (in which case the last named Designee’s right to a burial space shall be deemed extinguished). The right of such a spouse to a burial space will not be deemed extinguished by anything except an annulment recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.

5.5 After any one person is buried in a grave, crypt or niche (the Certificate holder, a Designee or another), the common burial right (stemming from the Certificate-holder’s general interest in burials in the grave, crypt or niche) cannot be transferred except as follows:

A. The Certificate-holder may transfer his/her common burial right to undesignated spaces in the grave, crypt or niche to another or others in a Will, provided that there is specific reference in the Will to the Certificate.

B. If the Certificate-holder fails to specifically transfer his/her common burial right in the grave, crypt or niche in a Will, then the Certificate holder’s rights automatically pass as follows:

1. To the Certificate-holder’s spouse and the Certificate-holders children (or children of a Certificate-holder’s child who has predeceased), who all have a common burial right in the grave, crypt or niche (all remaining, un-Designated burial spaces). A common right means that each such person has a right singly by himself/herself and collectively with others possessing common burial rights to each of the un-Designated burial spaces.

2. If there is no surviving spouse, then to the Certificate-holder’s children (or children of a Certificate-holder’s child who has predeceased), who all have a common burial right in the grave, crypt or niche (all remaining, un-Designated burial spaces).

3. If there is no surviving spouse or children (nor children’s children) then the Certificate-holder’s parents have a common burial right in the grave, crypt or niche (all remaining, un-Designated burial spaces).

4. If there is no surviving spouse, children (nor children’s children), or parents, then the Certificate-holder’s siblings have a common burial right in the grave, crypt or niche (all remaining, un-Designated burial spaces).

5. If none of the foregoing applies, then the Certificate-holder’s common burial rights pass to the Certificate-holder’s additional next of kin pursuant to New Jersey’s statute on intestate succession, and such person or persons have a common burial right in the grave, crypt or niche (all remaining, un-Designated burial spaces).

5.6 When two or more persons (other than Designees) have a common burial right in a grave or crypt, then each has certain rights:

A. Each has the right to be buried in any of the burial spaces not reserved for Designees.

B. A person may waive his/her common burial right in a signed, dated writing filed with the Cemetery.

C. A person waives his/her common right to burial if he/she is buried outside of the specific cemetery in which he/she holds the common right of burial.

D. A person may transfer his/her common burial right to any other person(s) who have a common burial right in the grave, crypt or niche by filing with the Cemetery a signed and dated Permission to Transfer Common Burial Right to a Named Person.

E. All persons who have a common burial right may collectively transfer their right to a specific burial space to a named person by filing with the Cemetery a signed and dated Collective Permission to Transfer a Specific Interment Space to a Named Person.

F. If more persons have a common burial right in a burial space than may be buried there, any deceased person with a common right to burial in the space may be buried there – if requested by the deceased person’s legal representative, even though it will make the space unavailable to others (not deceased) who also have a common right to be buried in the space.

For example, if three children of a Certificate-holder, and two grandchildren of a deceased child of that Certificate-holder, have a common right to burial in one remaining common burial space, the first to die among these five children/grandchildren can be buried in the space – if requested by the deceased’s legal representative.

Exception: However, if one of the persons having a common burial right is a surviving spouse of the Certificate-holder (and the spouse does not already hold rights to a burial space as a Designee), then one burial space must be reserved for the surviving spouse (unless the spouse has waived his/her right to burial in a signed, dated writing filed with the Cemetery).

G. A person may authorize, in a signed, dated writing filed with the Cemetery that his/her common burial right may be represented by another person who also has a common burial right.

H. Other than a filed authorization as noted immediately above in Paragraph G, the Cemetery may follow the direction of any one person having a common burial right in a grave, crypt or niche who represents that the directions being given represent the consensus (agreement) of all persons who have an interest in the burial space.

5.7 The right to burial includes the right to memorialization, provided memorialization space is available. In this context, memorialization means the right to include name, date of birth and date of death on the existing or to be purchased memorial/monument. Thus, a deceased having the right to be buried in a burial space also possesses the right to have his/her name on a memorial, even if the memorial at the burial space predates the deceased’s burial.

5.8 The Cemetery has the right to bury in accordance with the instructions of a person who swears or affirms that he/she has the right to bury the deceased, pursuant to the current cemetery Rules and Regulations, in the burial space requested.

Note: By law, a person who signs an authorization for the disposition of human remains warrants the truth of the facts stated, the identity of the human remains and the authority to order the disposition. That person will be liable for damages caused by a false statement or a breach of warranty. N.J.S.A. 45:27-30 (d).

5.9 In light of the foregoing, it is important that the Certificate-holder provide a Designee for each burial space, and equally important that the Certificate holder state in his/her Will who is to acquire common burial rights in un-Designated burial spaces in a grave, crypt or niche upon the death of the Certificate-holder. If the Certificate-holder fails to do so, the procedures noted herein for succession may control as to who is entitled to be buried in any remaining, undesignated spaces.

6. The sub-division of burial spaces is not allowed without consent of the Cemetery management and no one shall be buried in any burial space win which the rights have been sub-divided, except by written consent of all parties have an interest in the burial space and the Cemetery authority.

7. Burial spaces shall be freely transferable in accordance with these Rules and Regulations and the Civil Laws of the State of New Jersey (to the extent that Civil Laws may be applicable).

8. The Cemetery authority may, but is not required to, arrange for the exchange of burial spaces at the request of the person or persons having rights therein. In rare cases of necessity, the Cemetery authority may, in its sole discretion, require an exchange of burial space or burial spaces, despite the objection of the person or persons having rights or an interest therein.

9. The Cemetery authority may refuse consent to burial unless and until all monetary payments covering the purchase of the Certificate and/or burial have been paid in full.

10. Cemetery office personnel communicate with certificate-holders and their spouses through either/both customary postal services and/or electronic mail. Program cemeteries continue to solicit email addresses and seek to more fully implement this form of communication with Certificate-holders and their spouses.
It shall be the duty of the Certificate-holder to notify the Cemetery of any change of either street or email address for the Certificate-holder and for his/her spouse. Any notice sent to a Certificate-holder or the spouse at the last address on file, whether the address be a postal box, street address, or email, with the Cemetery shall be considered sufficient, proper and legal notification for all purposes, whether or not such purposes are specified in these Rules and Regulations.

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Memorial Day Mass photos

Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark joined thousands of Catholic cemeteries nationwide in the commemoration, “Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes,” by celebrating Mass at seven of its Archdiocesan cemeteries and at multiple local parishes on May 29, 2017.   The open-air Mass at Holy Cross Cemetery and Mausoleum in North Arlington, NJ, was a historic event with Newark’s first Cardinal, Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R.  Despite the pouring rain, more than 900 people, including clergy, active military personnel, veterans, Knights of Columbus, first responders, law enforcement officials, local dignitaries, and parishioners, sheltered under a massive canopy at Holy Cross Cemetery to remember and pray for departed loved ones and fallen heroes. Veterans and visitors who have family members presently serving in the armed forces or family members who made the ultimate sacrifice were asked to stand and be recognized during the service.  The Cardinal delivered a message of gratitude to those who gave their all and to those who have served.

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Catholic Cemeteries Commemorates Memorial Day 2017

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Archdiocese of Newark’s Catholic Cemeteries Commemorates Memorial Day

— Historic Mass with Newark’s First Cardinal, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin —

Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark will join thousands of Catholic cemeteries nationwide in the commemoration, “Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes,” by celebrating Memorial Day Mass on Monday, May 29, at 11:00 A.M., at local cemeteries and parishes.  The program commemorates all departed loved ones and honors men and women who died while serving in the armed forces and recognizes both military veterans and active duty members serving our country.

“All are invited to visit the graves of our fallen heroes as we pray for all our departed loved ones at Memorial Day Mass,” said Andrew P. Schafer, Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark. “We will celebrate Mass at all Archdiocesan cemeteries once again this year, including a historic open-air Mass with Newark’s first Cardinal, Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.”

“Serving God and Country: A Memorial Day Salute to Our Heroes” is a national program developed by the Catholic Cemetery Conference to honor members of the military who died in combat and recognize veterans and current service men and women. Active military personnel and veterans are invited to participate in Mass at Catholic cemeteries to serve as flag or candle bearers during the opening and closing processions, as Lectors, as participants in the Presentation of Gifts, and to recite uniform intercessions followed by a moment of silence.  This program also is an ideal time for Catholics in the community and throughout the country to unite, remember, and pray for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated at the following Archdiocesan Catholic Cemeteries locations on Monday, May 29, at 11:00 am with the following celebrants:

  • Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington – Open-Air Mass celebrated by Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R.
  • Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover – Rev. Msgr. Robert E. Emery
  • Maryrest Cemetery, Mahwah, NJ – Rev. Msgr. Thomas P. Nydegger
  • Saint Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia – Most Rev. Manuel A. Cruz
  • Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City – Rev. Msgr. Gregory J. Studerus
  • Christ the King Cemetery, Franklin Lakes – Most Rev. John W. Flesey
  • Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Orange – Rev. Philip J. Waters

Masses will be held rain or shine, and a canopy and seating will be provided. For participating Parishes and a complete Mass schedule, visit www.CatholicJourney.org.

We honor and cherish our fallen heroes and veterans, and remember them throughout the year during monthly Masses, Veteran’s Day, Flag Day, and certainly, on Memorial Day.  Flags fly daily in designated areas over all Archdiocesan Cemeteries to honor those presently serving and those who have served. Additionally, we place more than one thousand American flags at the memorials of veterans interred at our Catholic Cemeteries for Memorial Day, and those flags remain through Flag Day.

The caring and dedicated staff at Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark ministers to the spiritual needs of individuals and families before, at the time of, and after the loss of a loved one. This includes caring assistance with cemetery planning before death, compassionate support at the time of loss, facilitating a loved one’s interment in a holy place, support throughout bereavement, and perpetual cemetery care, thereafter.

As part of this commitment, Monthly Masses of Remembrance are celebrated at Catholic Cemeteries throughout the year, typically during the first week of each month, and on special days throughout the year. For a complete schedule, visit www.CatholicJourney.org.

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STATEMENT REGARDING VETERAN MARKERS AT CEMETERIES

The staff of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Newark empathizes with grieving families who wish to add temporary, personal items to the memorials of their departed loved ones.

We do not remove permanent monuments or affixed memorializations from any headstone. However, certain cemetery decorations are not permitted since they may present a safety hazard to our visitors and grounds workers. Wooden, glass, plastic or metal items, especially when not permanently affixed to a headstone, can easily become a tripping hazard or a serious threat when airborne from lawn equipment.

We have an obligation to all the families we serve and to the loved ones interred at our cemeteries to maintain a consistent standard of reverence, safety and appearance around our property. Signs are posted at all locations to notify visitors of routine seasonal clean-up of decorations so families have ample time to remove items they wish to keep. (Upcoming clean-up days: June 21 and November 16, 2017.) The cemetery staff holds removed personal items for a reasonable period so families may retrieve them. It is not our intention to upset or offend any family or individual.

We honor and cherish our fallen heroes and veterans, and remember them throughout the year during monthly Masses, Veteran’s Day, Flag Day, and certainly, on Memorial Day. Flags are flown daily in designated areas over all Archdiocesan Cemeteries to honor those presently serving and those who have served. Additionally, we place more than one thousand American flags at the memorials of veterans interred at our Catholic Cemeteries for Memorial Day, and those flags remain through Flag Day.

All are invited to visit the graves of our fallen heroes as we pray for all our departed loved ones at Memorial Day Mass on Monday, May 29th at 11:00am.

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Support Groups for Parents Grieving the Death of a Child

There is no loJesus with children bss like that of one’s child.  Parents whose children have died will never again be the same.  Their grief is longer, harder and more complicated than that of other bereaved people. The needs of those who have suffered the loss of a child are special.  One of these needs is to share the pain with others who have experienced this very difficult kind of grief.

The Office of Family Life Ministries of the Archdiocese of Newark sponsors support groups for Parents Grieving the Death of a Child.  The groups are led by trained facilitators – parents who have personally experienced the death of a child.

Groups meet as follows:

 

St. Thomas the Apostle Church

Parish Center

60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield

First Wednesday of each month

7:30pm

(July and August is 7:00pm)

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St. Peter the Apostle Church

Rectory Basement

445 Fifth Avenue, River Edge

Third Monday of each month

7:30pm

There is no fee to participate and pre-registration is not needed.  For further information, please call Lauren Egan at 973-497-4327 or contact via e-mail at eganlaur@rcan.org.

For more on Ministry & Consolation, visit our webpage: www.rcancem.org/ministry-of-consolation/