Frequently Asked Questions
Can I be buried in a Catholic Cemetery?
As a religious cemetery, Catholic cemeteries are an expression of faith and hope in the Resurrection. A baptized Catholic has a right to be buried in a Catholic cemetery. Non-Catholic family members, persons with a connection to the Catholic community, and other Christians with support from their ministers may also be buried in the Catholic cemeteries. Click here
to read the Christian Burial Policy.
Are there cemetery options if I choose to be cremated?
Yes. There are a variety of options for committal of cremated remains in the Catholic Cemeteries. Cremated remains may be placed in an above ground niche, either in an indoor mausoleum or in a garden setting. They may also be buried cremation graves.
How much will burial cost?
Cost depends on the location and type of committal. To learn more about these options, visit our Exploring Your Options
What is cremation?
Cremation is the reduction of the body of a deceased person to recoverable bone fragments through a process that combines intense heat and evaporation. After cooling, the fragments are pulverized. These fragments usually weigh 4 to 10 pounds.
What is the proper name for these remains?
What are commonly called ashes are not ash, but bone fragments. The proper terminology of the fragments is "cremated remains of the body."
Are there advantages to buying burial space before my family actually needs it?
Yes. By making arrangements in advance, Catholic families can avoid confusion at the time of bereavement and assure themselves of burial and arrangements in the location they desire, and at a price they wish to pay. You will find our non-commissioned counselors knowledgeable and sensitive to your needs.
Is there any chance my grave will be re-sold after a specified number of years?
No. The purchaser has an exclusive and permanent right of use through an easement conveyed by Catholic cemeteries. This right passes to direct blood heirs immediately after the death of the recorded owner, although the spouse has the first right of burial. This applies to all graves, crypts and niches in the cemetery. Written permission of the heirs-at-law may be required for burial. It is advisable to secure permission in advance and place it on file in the cemetery office to prevent unnecessary stress at the time when permission is essential.
Should I buy space for the entire family?
It has been our experience that generally, a husband and wife buy space for themselves. Many families decide to purchase adjoining plots to form a family group. Family plots are also available and can accommodate larger headstones. Crypts for full size caskets and niches for cremated remains may be purchased individually or in family groups.
Should I choose a crypt or a grave?
Personal preference and/or family tradition influence choices in this regard. Above ground entombment in a crypt building is appealing, especially to those people who aren't comfortable with traditional below ground burial. Indoor mausoleum crypts are conducive to visitation in inclement weather.
Do I have to pay a monthly maintenance fee?
No. Gate of Heaven and Calvary Catholic cemetery are long term care cemeteries. A one-time Cemetery Long Term Care Fund (CLTCF) fee is charged at the time you purchase a grave, crypt or niche. The money is placed in a special trust fund, the proceeds of which are used to cover future maintenance costs throughout the cemetery.
How do I pay for my burial arrangements?
There are a variety of payment options and terms designed to give you the flexibility to remain within your personal budget. Cash, check, MasterCard and Visa are honored for your convenience. Terms may be arranged with a down payment made at the time of a pre-need purchase, followed by monthly payments with a minimal interest fee. At the time of death, the burial arrangements must be paid in full. Special terms are available for persons in need.
If I move after purchasing, can I get a refund?
Yes. Catholic cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose will refund the amount you prepaid, minus a nominal cancellation fee.
What kind of monument can I purchase?
Monuments conform to the regulations that govern different areas of the cemetery. These regulations are not arbitrary, but are designed to both enhance the care and overall beauty and character of each section of the cemetery. Memorial benches are available in various sections in the cemetery.
Why should Catholics be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
It is only natural that those who share the same faith in life will wish to carry on that sense of community in death. When it comes to the issue of death, the sensibilities and needs of Catholics are unique and call for certain practices in the handling and care of the remains of the deceased. Therefore, in the blessed grounds of a Catholic cemetery there are safeguards - mandated by the Church's Canon Law - which guarantee permanence, reverence and respect for the remains of the deceased.
If I'm divorced and remarried can I be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
Yes. For more information, or if you have additional questions, please contact your parish priest.
Can someone who committed suicide be buried in a Catholic cemetery?
Yes. It is recognized that those who die from the act of suicide deserve understanding and compassion. The deceased may have been suffering from a serious psychological instability, or overwhelming fear and confusion. Therefore, the church offers funeral and burial rites for those who may have died as a result of suicide. The American edition of the Catholic ritual includes prayers for this specific situation. These prayers evoke forgiveness for the departed and consolation to their family.