Catholic cemetery’s demise greatly exaggerated

There's still plenty of room at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma despite reports to the contrary

Monuments at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. San Francisco moved all of its dead bodies to Colma between 1915 to 1948, and deceased San Franciscans continue to fill the graves at places like Holy Cross Cemetery and Cypress Lawn Memorial Park. (image from Holy Cross Cemetery)

At Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, reports of the cemetery running out of space are being overstated.

[See “Colma cemeteries in demand as shortage of land lies ahead” and “Colma is Running Out of Cemetery Space].

“Yes, despite the predicament that other cemeteries are facing, Holy Cross is blessed to have over 100 acres of land that are yet to be developed,” Monica Williams, director of cemeteries of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, told Catholic San Francisco. Williams said some neighboring cemeteries “are approaching a crisis of space” and “a few have approached us with an interest in purchasing land from us.

Williams affirmed the cemetery’s mission: “Our ministry is to provide the corporal work of mercy, burying the dead, and the spiritual work of mercy to pray for the dead for as long as possible.” The cemetery’s “business plan” is “long-term in nature,” she said, and the fact that the cemetery has made careful plans for assisting Catholic families into the future should be no surprise.

In 1886, Archbishop Patrick Riordan purchased approximately 300 acres of land in Colma. Holy Cross Cemetery opened a year later: “Since that time, we have been operating on 200 of the original 300 acres and are not close to capacity on that parcel of land,” Williams said. “We serve over 1,600 families each year. As the number of cremations has increased, we have made many options available to those choosing cremation” including cremation graves, niches, columbarium placement and placement of the urn in an existing family site enabling “family members to be interred together and conserve space. We anticipate being able to provide Christian burial to the members of the Catholic community in our archdiocese for well over a hundred years.”

Full story at Catholic San Francisco

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Comments

  1. helen wheels says:

    i’m sure the folks at Molloy’s are
    relieved to know there’s still
    room across the street. PTL !!

  2. What will they do in a century? Perhaps recycle burial space as they do in certain countries?

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