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)

Titanic hero’s grave in Jersey City to finally get headstone


The wreckage of the RMS Titanic on the floor of the North Atlantic. The “unsinkable” luxury liner went down on April 15, 1912. (National Geographic/Ralph White.)

By Margaret Schmidt | The Jersey Journal 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on May 03, 2016 at 7:08 PM, updated May 03, 2016 at 7:21 PM

Nearly 73 years after a Titanic hero’s death, his grave in Jersey City will be properly marked.

A headstone for seaman Robert J. Hopkins will be dedicated and blessed at Holy Name Cemetery in Jersey City on Saturday, May 14th at 10:00 AM, the Archdiocese of Newark and the New Jersey-based non-profit Titanic International Society announced.

Four other Titanic survivors buried in Holy Name — Margaret Devaney O’Neill, Elizabeth Dowdell Fierer, Bridget McDermott Lynch and Thomas McCormack — will also be commemorated.

Hopkins was assigned to lifeboat 13, which carried McDermott, Dowdell and possibly McCormack, to safety.

According to multiple obituaries, the lifeboat also carried American socialite Madeleine Astor, whose millionaire husband, John Jacob Astor, perished aboard the ship.

The lifeboat’s descent didn’t go smoothly, according to the online Encyclopedia Titanica.

“At around 1.40 a.m. the boat was lowered but when it reached the water Hopkins and Fred Barrett had to work quickly to cut the boat free from the falls as it drifted under lifeboat 15 which had begun its descent,” the website says.


Holy Name Cemetery & Mausoleum Celebrates 150 Years

150 years w cross

Celebrating 150 Years of Catholic Faith & Heritage!

Celebrating 150 years of Catholic faith and heritage since 1866, Holy Name Cemetery in Jersey City, was established to meet the needs of the community’s Catholic families. The historic Hudson County cemetery occupies 63 acres and is surrounded by a combination of small businesses and single-family residences.

Holy Name Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Jersey City with approximately 264,000 burials. A section of the cemetery is dedicated to the burial of priests and nuns who served in the city’s Roman Catholic parishes and parochial schools.

The cemetery’s striking landscape is marked with many elaborately-carved stone monuments. It is also the final sacred resting place to many notable Catholics. Among these are former Jersey City Mayor (1917-1947) Francis “Frank” Hague, former state Senator Thomas Cowan, Justice Marie Garibaldi, who was the first woman appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, Frank Sinatra’s grandparents’ mausoleum, Robert Hopkins, a crew member in charge of life boat #13 of the ill-fated Titanic, four other Titanic survivors with ties to Hudson County, and many Hudson County veterans from as far back as the Spanish American and Civil Wars.

In 2005, the first community garden mausoleum with 1,300 crypts was added.  Made of solid granite and nearly the length of a football field, the building’s beautiful architectural features include five gabled and gated alcoves with recessed panels topped with decorative granite motifs and walls in varying granite colors.  The artistic garden mausoleum is a structure like no other in a congested urban area.

A magnificent two-story chapel mausoleum constructed in 2010 stands with a church-like presence on West Side Avenue. The neoclassical granite structure is adorned with decorative carvings that are reminiscent of a beautiful and subtly colorful tapestry. Skylights allow for plentiful light which creates a comforting place for prayer and reflection. The chapel mausoleum also features numerous original works of liturgical art including brilliant stained glass windows and an ornate, two-story mosaic highlighting the classic monogram for the Holy Name (IHS), the first three letters of the name of Jesus (IHSUS) in the Greek alphabet.  Saints who have been promoters of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus during the church’s history also are depicted.

The cornerstone of the mausoleum’s decorative theme is a suite of windows rescued from Saint Boniface Parish Church in Jersey City, a parish community established in the early 1860s to serve the large German population of lower Jersey City. The stained glass windows, completed in 1896, were designed by a glass studio in Austria. Each window was given to the parish by either a family or organization of the Saint Boniface Parish community.

Holy Name Cemetery and Mausoleum is open daily from 9:00am to 4:30pm and is located at 823 West Side Avenue in Jersey City.