Cemetery Procedures

Process for Purchasing a Cemetery Plot at either St. James or St. Mary's

  1. Purchaser/Grantee comes in to the office and meets with the Office Assistant whom explains procedure and Cemetery Space Information. (Purchaser is the actual person that the grave is for if they are over 18 years of age -- if under 18 years of age their parent or legal guardian may sign for them)
  2. Once the purchaser agrees to the requirements, fills out and signs Cemetery Space Information sheet, they will take the Folder with them and contact the cemetery Sexton.
  3. Purchaser will meet with the Sexton and choose Cemetery Plot
  4. Sexton will fill out their portion of the cemetery Space Information Sheet and sign it, then give it back to the Purchaser/Grantee.
  5. Purchaser/Grantee will then return the completed folder back to the church office.
  6. Secretary will pass the completed folder onto the bookkeeper for processing
  7. Once the paperwork is processed and Pastor's signatures are applied the bookkeeper will can the Purchaser/Grantee to set up an appointment time for them to come in and sign the Final Cemetery Easement papers and make Payment for the plot(s).
  8. When everything is signed Purchaser/Grantee will go home with the original Final Cemetery Easement Papers, Cemetery Guidelines and a copy of the Cemetery Space information sheet. 


Active Parishioner -- (must be registered in the Parish and Active)

  1. Someone who gives their time, talent, or treasure on a regular basis to the parish. 

                a.) Time: volunteering your time on committees ... EMHC, PCCW, Parish Functions etc.

               b.) Talent: Using your god given talents to serve your parish... Choir, Teaching, Maintaining church or grounds, etc.

               c.) Treasure: Support the church through contributions on a regular basis, etc.

       2. If the parishioner has not given a minimum of $100.00/per number of years, then remuneration is expected in order to receive the active parishioner rate.

Non-Active Parishioner 

  1. They are not registered members of the parish.
  2. Your childhood parish does not qualify as your registered parish.

               a.) A formal joining of the parish is what qualifies a registered member of that parish.

               b.) As a registered member of the parish, you are expected to take an active role in your time, talent, and treasure.


Out of State Inquires

  1. Person contacts office. 
  2. Office receives information for the which Parish. Name, Address, # phone, email address
  3. Informs the person we will be sending out paperwork for them to fill out.  Important that they read the Explanation of Cemetery Easement and Perpetual or Endowed Care in Lay Terms and must be signed and returned before continuing with purchase 
  4. Informs them - Do not send any payment at this time
  5. Sends contents of appropriate parish folder either by email or US Mail.
  6. Receives form back from obtainer
  7. Sexton is contacted to move forward with the signed paperwork. Either by contacting the obtainer, or the obtainer has contacting the sexton
  8. Sexton returns information to office for processing
  9. Office sends out any paperwork needing a signature from the obtainer.
  10. Obtainer sends it back to office with payment
  11. Office prepare final documents with the Pastor signature, Parish seal, retains one copy for the office and mails the original to the obtainer.


Explanation of Cemetery Easement and Perpetual or Endowed Care In Lay Terms


Cemetery Easement

A cemetery lot owner’s rights are contractual and subject to the ordinary rules of contract law.  One who purchases and has conveyed to him/her a lot in St. James Catholic Cemetery does not acquire the fee to the soil.  He/she acquires only a right of burial therein which has been variously designated as an easement or as a license or privilege.

Put simply, this means you do not own the land or have ownership rights of any type to any particular land. Instead, you have an easement or license to use the land for the purpose of keeping your loved one’s remains there. What is allowable when acquiring a burial plot is 1 body and 1 cremains on top of the body or 2 cremains

“Right of burial is obtained by the purchaser of a certificate which shall entitle the purchaser to the perpetual use of the lot for the purpose of burial only.  If a holder of burial rights wishes to resell the rights, it should be done through the cemetery office.” (CEMETERY REGULATIONS FOR THE DIOCESE OF LA CROSSE p. 5 III. Sales of Lots and Transfer of Lots #3.)

“No burial rights shall be sold in common or joint ownership.  Title shall be vested in one name only.” (CEMETERY REGULATIONS FOR THE DIOCESE OF LA CROSSE p. 5 III. Sales of Lots and Transfer of Lots #4.)

“Upon the death of the owner of a certificate, the right to such certificate passes to the heirs or next of kin.” (CEMETERY REGULATIONS FOR THE DIOCESE OF LA CROSSE p. 5 III. Sales of Lots and Transfer of Lots #6.)

Perpetual or Endowed Care

This fund exists to ensure the general maintenance of the cemetery through the earned interest. This includes the cutting and trimming of lawn, trimming of trees, and maintaining of roads. It also includes the overhead expense necessary for such purposes, including maintenance of machinery, tools and equipment for such care; compensation of employees.