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Cemetery Improvement Project

Wednesday, February 19, 2020/Categories: History, Parish News

The Catholic Cemeteries play a vital role in our Catholic faith. When we are baptized, we are brought to a sacred place, a Catholic church, and baptized into the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection, thus giving us the promise of eternal life.

When our loved ones die, we take them to another sacred place, a Catholic cemetery, for burial in sacred ground while they await the resurrection of the dead and the promise of eternal life. St. Mary’s Church Cemetery holds the earthly remains of our family members, relatives and friends who have shared their love, fellowship and faith with us. Many of those buried in the nearly 1,000 gravesites in St. Mary’s Cemetery helped found and build St. Mary’s Parish and the beautiful church parishioners and visitors enjoy today. Having and maintaining a dignified burial ground is an important tradition ---and it is a responsibility.

In late 2019, the St. Mary’s Church Cemetery Committee developed plans to install new fence along the north, south and east sides. The old chain-link fence along the north and south sides was removed. On the south side, the fence was moved inward on unused space in the cemetery to accommodate a sidewalk and angular parking. The historic west entry gate was not changed. To make the cemetery more accessible, four walk-thru gates were installed in the south fence. A double entry gate and walk-thru gate was installed to the east of the concession building to align with a new main drive across the cemetery. A double entry gate was also installed on the north side febce. The fence and gates are powder-coated, commercial-grade aluminum; individual fence panels are removable. The Directory Board was also upgraded. Work began about March 1, 2020.

Having served for four years, Arlyn Holthaus and Richard Sudbeck retired from the Committee. Father Regie has appointed Wayne Schmitz and Jerry Osterhaus to the Committee. Other members are Mike Scott, Jerry Uphaus, Chris Engelken and Elmer Ronnebaum.

While the Cemetery Fund has some resources, funding for ongoing maintenance is always a concern. Parishioners and others continue to be invited to donate to the cemetery project. The fencing cost and installation of posts was $44,178.35. The price was reduced because parishioners installed the panels. The cost of the sidewalk was approximately $12,000. Anyone wishing to donate may use the form on the website and provide it to Church Secretary Mary Beth Haverkamp or a member of the Committee.

Memorial Trees are also being planted along the south side of the cemetery.  Donatons for other improvements and maintenance of the cemetery should be addressed to: St. Mary’s Church, 9018 Main, St. Benedict, Kansas 66538. Payments should be made payable to St. Mary’s Church Cemetery. 



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