History

Our History

The history of Catholic Cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Chicago actually predates establishment of the diocese. The first Catholic cemeteries were churchyard cemeteries of parishes in existence before the diocese was formed. Some of these cemeteries, still operating today, were Catholic burial grounds twenty five years before the opening of Calvary Cemetery, the oldest diocesan cemetery, in 1859.

  • Beginnings

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    1830
    Old picture of gates at St. James Cemetery
  • First Chicago Cemeteries

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    1835
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  • Diocese of Chicago

    After the Diocese of Chicago was formed in 1844, parish cemeteries were established in St. Joseph, Wilmette; St. Patrick, Everett (West Lake Forest); and St. Patrick, Mill Creek (Wadsworth).

    1844
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  • Calvary Cemetery

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    1859
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  • Civil War Era

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    1860
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  • Turn of the Century

    Shortly after the Civil War, there were only three diocesan-wide cemeteries: Calvary, which was primarily Irish; St. Boniface, primarily German; and St. Adalbert, primarily Polish. Due to population growth and movement in the diocese it shortly became an archdiocese and seven major cemeteries were established between 1885 and 1905: Mt. Olivet, St. Mary, Holy Cross, Mt. Carmel, St. Casimir, Resurrection, and St. Joseph. Mt. Carmel, although it was not a nationally oriented cemetery, became traditionally associated with the great wave of Italian immigration.

    1885
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  • Early 20th Century

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    1920
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  • Post World War II

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    1947
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  • New Programs and Developments

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    1950
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  • Permanent Chapels

    Probably even more significant was the construction of interment chapels, starting with the first permanent chapel at All Saints Cemetery in 1961. Families now have the option of final cemetery services conducted either at the grave or in such a chapel. Every major cemetery, as well as some of the smaller parish cemeteries, now has an interment chapel. Final services can be planned without concern for the weather. The use of such central chapels has also enabled the cemeteries to reduce fees for interment. Approximately 80% of funerals are presently conducted in interment chapels.

    1961
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Cemetery Administration History

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Catholic Cemetery Conference

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Present Day

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View other information regarding Catholic Cemeteries and burial:

Interment Choices

Catholic Cemeteries offer an economical package that includes all the cemetery needs that can be added to any purchase.

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Interment Services

The interment of a deceased person requires many ongoing checks and balances to insure that no mistakes occur during this important procedure.

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Community Outreach

Catholic Cemeteries is committed to assist, explain and educate Catholic families, parishes and other agencies of the Archdiocese, through its outreach programs.

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Cemetery Locations

Find a Cemetery Near You

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