The Catholic Church teaches that the bodies of the dead must be treated with respect, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The care of its members from birth and baptism through dying and death has always been accepted as a life-long responsibility of the Catholic Church.
In the past, body burial was the only option available to Catholics for fulfilling the corporal work of mercy, “to bury the dead”. In 1963, the church approved cremation for Catholics who so choose.
Through the creation of the Columbarium and Memorial Garden, the Basilica of Saint Mary is living this responsibility by providing on its grounds a final earthly resting place for our deceased members and their loved ones. Sacred to the memory of those who have departed from our world, it will also be a place for visitation, meditation and prayer.