Updated March 26, 2020
Our update today includes protocols for handling interments related to COVID-19 deaths.
The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton is committed to serving our families and working to ensure their health and safety. We are equally committed and focused on the health and safety of our employees. We are therefore adjusting our operations and levels of public interaction in an effort to do our part to slow the transmission of the virus. Please know that we are taking extra precautions to keep our facilities and offices sanitized. Our office remains open to serve you and your family. Please review the following information:
Safe Distance Protocol
The Catholic Cemeteries has implemented a Safe Distance Protocol. We ask that there be no physical contact such as handshakes or hugs, and our employees will observe a 6-foot distance with visitors wherever possible.
All visitors will be screened:
- Do you have any of these symptoms?
- Difficulty Breathing/Shortness of Breath
- Have you travelled outside of the country within the last 14 days?
- Have you or any member of your immediate family been in contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19?
- Have you or any member of your immediate family been advised to self-isolate?
- Has Public Health been involved?
If a visitor answers YES to any of the above questions, we ask that they kindly return home and call us to make arrangements by alternative means (phone/email, etc.).
For All Office Appointments, Cremation and Interment Services
- Any individual who is under self-isolation or does not pass the self-screening test is not permitted to attend any of our offices, cemeteries or mausoleum building for any reason.
- While the outdoor cemetery grounds remain open, we recommend that visits unrelated to an interment service be avoided.
- Our mausoleum buildings are closed for visits that are unrelated to attendance at an entombment.
- Our reception rooms at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Burlington and Marymount Cemetery, Guelph are not available for use.
- In accordance with directives from the Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, committal attendance is limited to immediate family only.
- Office appointments that are non-essential and unrelated to an immediate burial arrangement must be completed by telephone or other electronic means. Walk-in visits without an appointment will not be permitted.
- Our main office at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery will be open for regular office hours, but will close at 12:00 noon at Saturdays.
Please be reminded of our Safe Distance Protocol to which all attendees will be required to adhere and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from employees at all times. Immediate family viewing the closing of a grave (lowering of the casket) must return to the roadside for the health and safety of all. Families attending mausoleum entombments must exit the building immediately following the committal prayers, and may not witness the entombment process.
Interments/Entombments for COVID-19-related Deaths
- For interment inside a mausoleum, committal services must take place outside the main doors of the mausoleum. Once the committal service is complete, the casket or urn will be left outside the entrance door. Once the family has returned to their vehicles, the cemetery staff will proceed with the entombment. For an outdoor crypt or columbarium niche, staff will complete the entombment once the family has left the vicinity of the burial space.
- For in-ground burial, caskets will be placed into the concrete container (liner or vault) immediately upon arrival at the grave. All other protocols indicated above will be enforced.
Thank you for adhering to these protocols and for your understanding and patience during these unprecedented times. We pray for those infected with COVID-19, those caring for the sick and for one another.