Browsing Fr. Poggemeyer's Weekly Letter

November 21, 2021


Dear Parishioners,

Last month we had another cemetery committee meeting. We held the meeting out at the cemetery in order to look at the items we were discussing. Here are some highlights:

- Deb Brickner gave us the income and expense report and the balance sheet.

- We will have to purchase a new lift to raise coffins into mausoleum slots. The current lift does not meet insurance/OSHA standards. It is very flimsy.

- We observed from the ground what is visible of the new mausoleum roof and its trim. It looks very neat. Other eventual improvements for the mausoleum: suggest putting dry-wall on the ceiling and painting it; upgrade the lighting and heating inside; power wash the whole exterior, cleaning/shining the doors and all of the copper trim of the vents; tuck-point the outside; make the mausoleum handicap accessible by adding a ramp with railing. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to celebrate Holy Mass in the mausoleum on Memorial Day or even All Souls day?

- We observed the cracking of the monument in the priests' circle. As we repair the cracked base, we think we could save money and future maintenance by lowering the whole structure by one level. It is currently two levels. It will still be a dramatic and beautiful monument after losing the second level. The back of the cross is splitting: that will also have to be repaired.

- Last year we gathered data from various cemeteries around the Diocese, in order to compare our policies. We looked at size limits for monuments, because if the monuments are too tall, we are not able to dig future graves next to them. Our equipment is not big enough to dig over such big monuments. And we risk chipping/breaking those big monuments. To move the large monuments out of the way in the event of future digging of graves near them, we have to spend quite a lot of money to bring in a company. After measuring various monuments right there in the meeting, we decided to limit single-grave monuments to a maximum 32 inches of height, 32 inches length and 14 inches width. For double-grave monuments, the height would still be 32 inches maximum, the length 52 inches maximum and the width 14 inches. These dimensions still provide a lot of room for beautiful designs. These guidelines match a couple other cemeteries.

- We reiterated that we are trying to get monument companies to run any designs by the parish office, before creating them. The cemetery is a holy place that ought to raise our minds to heaven and lift our hope of heaven for our loved ones. It is not appropriate to have worldly images or sayings on monuments in a Catholic cemetery. This rule has been in place for a long time, but it has not always been followed. We are sending out a reminder of the policy to monument companies.

- It was suggested that we be proactive by pouring the remaining five ribbons of monument footers in the newest section this coming Spring. That will probably cost about $12,000.

- We discussed the difficulties with neighbors around the cemetery. Some are dumping their yard waste behind the dirt pile at the back of the cemetery; also driving through the grass; also using the cemetery as a playground and leaving trash and sports items/arrows, etc.; also letting their pets do their business throughout the cemetery, which gets scattered when mowing happens. Also, many veterans' flags have gone missing, for the second year in a row. We are going to check with the police to see if we are allowed to hand out a flier to the neighbors asking that these behaviors stop. This is hallowed ground. There ought to be reverence towards cemetery property.

- We are going to remove the goal post from the South end of the cemetery, in order not to encourage the sports in the cemetery.

- We are going to post signs at the entrance of the cemetery stating that no pets are allowed.

So, there are the highlights. Have a blessed week!

In cordibus Iesu, Mariae et Josephus,

Father Poggemeyer


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