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Questions About Catholic Burial

Do I have to be a Catholic to be buried in a Catholic cemetery?

We believe in keeping families together in death as in life, and welcome non-Catholic spouses and family members of Catholics.

Are there annual maintenance fees?

No. Provincial legislation requires that a fixed portion of the price of a grave, crypt or niche be placed into a special care and maintenance fund. The income from this fund is used to maintain the cemetery grounds and mausoleum buildings. Contributions to the care and maintenance fund are also made for all monuments and grave markers installed in the cemetery.

Do I need to purchase a grave liner?

Grave liners are strongly recommended for all of our cemeteries. Using a grave liner creates a secure surrounding for the casket, with little chance of the grave settling or sinking over the years.

Can cremated remains be buried in an existing family grave or crypt?

Yes, providing the person who holds the rights to the grave or crypt gives permission. In cases where the interment rights holders are deceased, authorization from all immediate heirs will be required. A fee for our staff to prepare the appropriate documentation is applicable.

Why don’t you allow scattering of cremated remains?

The Catholic Church believes that cremated remains must be treated with the same dignity and respect as the body, and must be buried or entombed in a sacred space. Scattering or separating cremated remains is therefore not permitted.

When can wreaths be left at a grave?

Winter wreaths on stands are permitted on graves between November 1 and April 1. Families must pick up their wreaths before April 1, or they will be removed and discarded by the cemetery. Saddle wreaths installed on top of upright monuments may be left year-round.

How do I find my relative’s grave?

Please contact the cemetery office by telephone or email. To assist us in searching for your relative, please provide their full name, the name of the cemetery, and the approximate date of death. Given the number of burial records in our database, we are unable to accept generic requests for all members of a family. The cemetery provides the date of burial and burial location only. Our records do not always have maiden names, birthdates, occupations, next of kin or children’s names. Please note that file records from third party sources (Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid, Ontario Genealogical Society) do not correspond to our records in any way, and are taken from transcriptions of memorials. It is not uncommon for a deceased person to be memorialized on a grave stone but be buried elsewhere.

Who runs The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton?

The cemeteries are owned by The Roman Catholic Diocese of Hamilton under the authority of Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, OMI, Bishop of Hamilton. There is a staff of more than 50 people that includes administrators, family counselors, groundskeepers and more.