by Therese Horvat
Special to The Leaven
TOPEKA — True to its mission to “bury the dead with dignity and respect . . . and provide sacred space for remembering,” Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas is responding to high interest and demand with plans to construct a new mausoleum at Mt. Calvary Cemetery here.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will preside at the blessing and groundbreaking ceremony for the new mausoleum on June 22 at 2 p.m. The ceremony is open to area parishioners.
The blessing and groundbreaking will be the culmination of more than three years of planning and pre-sales of crypts and niches, with an excellent response from Catholics in Topeka and the surrounding communities. The generosity of a major donor helped further accelerate plans to proceed with construction.
Robert W. Chenoweth, Catholic Cemeteries’ executive director, credited the board of directors of Catholic Cemeteries of Northeast Kansas for being both attuned and responsive to the needs of the region.
“Over the past five years, we’ve taken several steps to beautify Mount Calvary, including new garden sections, columbaria and statuary,” he said. “We’re taking this beautification to a whole new level with the addition of the mausoleum to the cemetery property.
“Plus, families and individuals will have the welcomed opportunity to select different burial and entombment options.”
The mausoleum will feature handcrafted stained-glass windows in the chapel and throughout the facility. The chapel will be available for committal services for persons being entombed in the mausoleum and for ground burials during inclement weather.
The new building will also offer convenient and private office space where individuals and families can meet with Catholic Cemeteries staff for both preneed and at-need arrangements. The projected completion date for the mausoleum is September 2017.
Participating in the June 22 blessing with Archbishop Naumann will be Father Jerry Spencer, chair, and Father Jerry Volz, vice chair, officers of the Catholic Cemeteries board of directors. Joining them for the groundbreaking will be Dan Carson, chair, Topeka Advisory Board, and member of the Catholic Cemeteries board of directors; Tim Etzel, benefactor; and Chenoweth. The blessing and groundbreaking will take place on the south side of the cemetery where the new mausoleum will be constructed.
The cemetery is located at 801 S.W. Westchester Road, Topeka. Future plans call for the cemetery’s main entrance to be relocated from Westchester Road to 10th Street.
For more information about the new mausoleum or other services, or to make a tax-deductible donation to help offset expenses of the mausoleum, call (785) 272-0820 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.