By Michael Espinoza
Manager of Operations and Development, Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes
When we lose a loved one, it never crosses our minds that the cemetery would not be able to accommodate our needs. We assume that burial space will be available whenever we require it. However, in some of the older corners of our country and around the world, some historic cemeteries have reached capacity.
At Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes, we take a proactive approach to cemetery development so we can continue to serve the burial needs of Catholic families for generations to come. In fact, we have ongoing expansion projects at all of our six cemetery locations, and we monitor the state of our industry so we can be prepared for what the future holds.
Recently, we opened our new Garden of Corpus Christi burial ground at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix, adding 300 new burial spaces to this historic location that has been in operation since 1897. This garden, which has both an in-ground burial field and a columbarium, features a large bronze crucifix to offer families a sacred space in which to remember their loved ones.
This summer, we will open our new Los Cristeros burial section at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery and Funeral Home in Avondale. This section was named to commemorate Los Cristeros, the Catholics who were martyred during the Cristero War in Mexico in the 1920s. Upon completion, this new section will feature 8,000 traditional in-ground burial spots to serve our West Phoenix families. The Los Cristeros area will feature a statue of Joselito (St. José Sánchez del Río), a 15-year-old Cristero who was executed on February 10, 1928, by the Mexican government for his Catholic beliefs.
Next year, we also will add a new mausoleum complex at Holy Redeemer Catholic Cemetery in North Phoenix. This enclosed mausoleum will feature archways and breezeways, providing families with an escape from the sun in the heat of summer as they visit their loved ones in their final resting place.
All of these expansion projects—and many more that are in the works over the long term—are designed to respect the heritage of our consecrated burial grounds and ensure that future generations of Catholics can be laid to rest near the loved ones who passed before them.
Many blessings to you and your family.
If you would like to learn more, please contact your parish or Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Homes directly at (602) 267-3962.