Why a Catholic Cemetery?
Just as living people deserve dignity and respect, so do the deceased. The bodies of those who have passed on once held the Holy Spirit and will rise again when the Lord returns, so the grounds of a Catholic Cemetery is both sacred and consecrated. The Catholic burial ceremony is conducted in such a manner to celebrate the dignity and respect of those who have gone before. The Catholic Cemetery offers a place for ritual prayer, such as the Rite of Committal for the dead and the celebration of the Eucharist. It is also a place for private prayer and reflection. It is a place where the faithful continue their witness to the entire world of the Good News of Jesus Christ and the hope we share in resurrection.
Patrick J. Posey Sr., Director
Marie Aquadro, Administrative Assistant
Cathy Pannell, Office Administrator
Memphis Catholic Cemeteries – 156 Years of Service
Today, the Diocese of Memphis owns three conveniently located cemeteries which offer traditional below ground interment, above ground mausoleum entombment, and cremation. Pricing depends on several factors. We also offer a variety of products such as flower arrangements, and services such as placement of wreathes and maintenance. You are also welcome to provide your own flowers within established guidelines.
The cemeteries came into being in 1849 when St. Peter Cemetery was developed as part of St. Peter Parish. At one time it was known as the finest example of a rural cemetery in the Mid-South due to its many gardens, plantings, and walkways. St. Peter Cemetery was closed in 1896 and those remains that could be found were transferred to Calvary Cemetery which was established in 1867.
Calvary Cemetery served large numbers of immigrant Catholics from many parts of Europe. Msgr. Martin Riordan, the Vicar General of the Diocese and pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, was the guiding force behind Calvary’s development. Over fifty thousand of the faithful departed are buried in Calvary representing virtually every Catholic family that has lived in Memphis in the past 130 years.
Mount Calvary Cemetery in Jackson, established in 1883, serves the rapidly developing St. Mary’s parish in Jackson. Many of the current families of St. Mary have several generations buried in the Mount Calvary Cemetery.
Our newest cemetery, All Saints Cemetery, was opened in 1993 to serve the burial needs of the many Catholics who now reside in east Shelby County. A unique part of the cemetery is a burial garden for cremated remains which is now approved by Vatican II.
Altogether, Memphis Catholic cemeteries hold more than 300 burials and entombments a year and have space to serve many thousands more. The Catholic Cemeteries, Diocese of Memphis, will continue to build on its 156 years of service.
The Catholic Cemeteries office hours which are located at Calvary Cemetery are:
Monday through Friday - 8:00 am to 4:00 pm*
Saturday - 8:00 am to 12:00 pm*
Sunday - closed
* On holidays and Holy Days the phone message center is checked twice a day.
• New Years Day
• Martin Luther King Jr., Day
• Holy Thursday – office open no funerals accepted
• Good Friday
• Holy Saturday – office closed no funerals accepted
• Memorial day
• July 4th
• Feast of the Assumption – August 15
• Labor Day
• All Saints Day – November 1st
• Thanksgiving Day
• Thanksgiving Friday – office closed funerals accepted if previously arranged
• Feast of the Immaculate Conception – December 8th
• Christmas Eve – Cemeteries office closed from Christmas Eve through New Year Day
• Christmas Day - closed
• December 26 – office closed but funerals accepted if previously arranged