Holy Family Memorial Garden and Columbarium
What specifically is a columbarium?
A columbarium is an arrangement of openings, either in a mausoleum, a room, or wall, into which an urn or other worthy vessel is placed for permanent memorial. These openings are 16 inches wide by 9 inches high by 20 inches in depth and are called “niches.” At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the columbarium is a walled structure. The current plan calls for 90 niches when the phased construction has been completed.
If I choose to be cremated, what are the advantages of choosing the columbarium as opposed to a cemetery?
This is a personal choice. Many people choose to be buried in a columbarium at their church, because of a strong desire to be laid to rest on the grounds of a church that they loved and served. They like the simplicity of the liturgy and want to preserve a nearness to the church and perpetuate a relationship that has been a lifelong pursuit. Those who choose to be placed in a columbarium at the church often are attracted by its religious focus and the nearness to the church. The proximity makes it convenient for visits by loved ones and for periods of meditation and reflection.
Also, the fee for being placed in one of the niches is usually less than the cost of interment in a cemetery. Other factors that may influence your decision to choose internment in a
columbarium are concerns about the environment, space available in a cemetery, and the flexibility cremation offers in ceremony planning and in the disposition of the remains. At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, perpetual care of the grounds surrounding the columbarium will be provided tastefully, including liturgies celebrated annually on All Soul’s Day, November 2.
Where is the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Memorial Garden and Columbarium situated?
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Garden and Columbarium is on the church grounds in view of the Tabernacle. The columbarium
provides an attractive location for grieving, prayer and meditation. It is close to the church and the Chapel which may also
be used for prayer and reflection for the deceased and provides a haven during inclement weather.
My spouse is not a Catholic and I want to be buried with my spouse. Are there any provisions whereby we can be
placed in the same niche?
Yes. Each niche holds two urns. Your non-Catholic spouse can have a funeral rite in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and
then be placed in your columbarium niche. All funeral services, however, will be in accord with Roman Catholic
rites. Exceptions require approval of the Pastor.
What about my pet?
Pets may not be buried in a niche. However plots in the ground will be available. Contact the office for details and costs.
Who may be interred in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Columbarium?
The columbarium is intended primarily for the use of the parishioners of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. However, with
approval by the Columbarium Committee, the purchaser may inter immediate family members who are not parishioners.
However, this is limited to the spouse, parents, grandparents, siblings, children and grandchildren of the purchaser. The
family members do not have to be Catholic.
May non-parishioners purchase in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Columbarium?
A limited number of niches are available for purchase by active and registered Catholics from other parishes, and may be
purchased with the agreement of the Columbarium Committee and the approval of the Pastor. There is an increased charge
for purchasers who are non-parishioners.
The purchaser may inter only family members, which is limited to the spouse, parents, grandparents, siblings, children and
grandchildren of the purchaser. The family members do not have to be Catholic. The Pastor must approve any exceptions.
What is the cost of a niche?
The price of a niche in the columbarium a Parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is $2,500.00. The price of a niche in the
columbarium a Catholic from another parish is $4,000.00.
Will these prices ever change?
Yes and no. These are today’s prices and may be raised at any time without notice. However, once you have purchased a
niche, there will be no further charges, even if the price should rise in the future.
What proof will I have that I purchased a niche?
A contract will witness the Right of Interment of cremains purchased with the payment of the appropriate fee for a specified niche in the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Columbarium.
I purchased a niche for myself. If I later decide to add another person, can I do so?
Yes, assuming the second person meets the qualifications previously described.
May more than two people be interred in a niche?
No. There is sufficient space for up to two urns in a niche.
Must I supply my own urn?
Yes, but all urns must meet the standards of worthiness set down by the U.S. Bishop’s Committee and will be appropriately sized to fit inside the niche which is typically 13 inches wide by 7 inches high by 20 inches in depth. The size will also depend on whether there will be one or two urns in the niche. Measurements will be provided by St Elizabeth Ann Seton Church.
What happens if I purchase a niche in the columbarium, then move away?
Upon receipt of your contract for the niche, it is the intent of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church to provide a refund of your original purchase price, less $100 and incurred expenses, if any, for those who have purchased the Right of Internment but no longer plan to exercise this right. However, the Columbarium Committee will decide each case individually based on the “Policy Statement of the Columbarium Committee.”
May I decorate the area near my niche with flowers?
The columbarium site is perpetually maintained in a manner designed to be beautiful, serene, holy and edifying under the direction of the Columbarium Committee. Additional fresh floral arrangements (not artificial) may be placed at the base of the columbarium. Flags, statues, or other decorations may not be placed on or near a niche or any other location in the Memorial Garden and Columbarium without the written approval of the Columbarium Committee and the written concurrence of the Pastor. As funds allow, the parish may provide seasonal and/or holiday decor.
I am interested in purchasing a niche. What is the process?
Simply contact the parish office at (936) 348-6368. The staff at the office will arrange for a member of the Columbarium Committee to contact you and provide whatever assistance that you need including a copy of all documentation relating to the Columbarium and available methods of payment. Upon payment of the fee, you may choose a niche location. The order of selection will be determined by the order in which each purchase was made in relation to other such purchases. Payment in full for the niche is required to secure a place in the selection process described above. Payment in full must be received before an available niche may be selected from the diagram. To reserve a niche, full payment is required at the time that the contract is signed.
Even easier, download and print the CONTRACT here.