What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is a wall of niches to hold the ashes of these who have been cremated. The term “columbarium” comes from the Latin work for ‘dwelling place of a dove’. (Christians believe the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit).
Columbaria can be found in many cemeteries and in some church grounds.
While columbaria have existed for over a hundred years, the Catholic church has allowed cremation only since the 1960’s hence a columbarium in a Catholic par-ish dates back only a few decades.
Our Columbarium and Memorial Walls were completed in August 2017. The aim is to provide a peaceful and respectful atmosphere, connected with the worshipping space of the community, which would enable family and friends to pray for, and reflect on their loved ones who have died.
The columbarium comprises two sections—traditional Niche Walls consist of 720 niches into which cremated ashes will be placed, and a Memorial path consisting of 24 spaces for plaques to be placed in memory of loved ones who have been interred elsewhere. The Columbarium-like the church graveyard of old, is a link between the living and the dead who are ever joined in the communion of saints.
Please note St Therese and St Anthony’s Columbarium has single Niches only. Niches are available along 5 walls double sided:
- St Francis
- St Clare
- St Anthony
- St Mary of the Cross
- Our Lady of Lourdes
- Missionary Franciscan Sister
- St Therese
- Holy Spirit
- Franciscan Friars
- St Bernadette
The wall and niche of your choice can be selected pending availability
Please contact the Parish Office to ascertain availability.
The plaque for our Columbarium and Memorial path will be of a standard size and design. They will be made of cast bronze and will all share the same print font with the option of a limited range of emblems.
Please contact the Parish Office about the cost involved.
After the funeral
Funeral process – Following the funeral service, the coffin is taken to the crematorium where the cremation takes place. (The Rite of Committal may occur at the church or the crematorium.) Within a few days, the family is advised that the ashes are ready. (They are appropriately presented in a box that fits into the columbarium niche.) The family contacts the Parish Office to arrange for the plaque to be made (which may take up to six weeks), and for the internment of the ashes into the columbarium. If the family requests it a blessing, led by a priest or trained parishioner may be arranged at the time of internment or at a later date. In the case of the Memorial Wall (no ashes involved), the wording on the plaque is determined when required, and the plaque, similar to the design described above, is attached when it is delivered.