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Bishop Checchio blesses new Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit at Piscataway cemetery

September 13, 2017

PISCATAWAY, NJ – More than 300 people joined Bishop James F. Checchio as he celebrated a Mass Sept. 9 with a blessing of the Diocese of Metuchen’s new Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit, on the grounds of Resurrection Cemetery, located on Hoes Lane and Park Avenue.

“In our Catholic tradition, the human body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and, so, we honor the body by burying our dead in sacred places. Today, I pray the Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit will offer peaceful and prayerful encounter with the Living God for those who come to visit their loved ones’ final resting place,” said Bishop Checchio.

Completed in July 2017, the expansive 12,500-square-foot indoor burial site offers more than 1,500 crypts and 400 granite and glass-front niches for cremated remains. Construction began a few months following a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony Jan. 22, 2013.

“We are honored that Bishop Checchio has formally blessed the new mausoleum at our Catholic cemetery and that so many people came out to share this exciting moment with us,” said Mary Ellen Gerrity, director of the diocesan Office of Cemeteries, who has overseen the three-year construction project from concept through completion.

“It’s also fantastic to be able to showcase the intricate details, beautiful materials and fine craftsmanship that went into this sacred project,” Gerrity said. She noted that the crypt fronts are made of Italian white Carrara marble, the trim is Rosa Levanto imported from Spain, and the lettering comes from Germany.

The free-standing building offers a clean, dry, above ground entombment and a serene, chapel-like feel. It is temperature controlled and not exposed to weather conditions, which makes it a comfortable space for visitors.

The Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit has six corridors with stained glass windows at each end. Reflecting its name, there is a feature area with a beautiful stained-glass image of the Blessed Mother surrounded by the 12 Apostles of Christ, at the time of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon them.

The other stained-glass windows depict beloved saints of the Church, including Saint Pope John Paul II; Saint Teresa of Calcutta; Saint Francis of Assisi; Saint Lorenzo Ruiz; Saint Therese of Lisieux, “The Little Flower”; as well as The Divine Mercy image of Jesus, as shared by Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.

The Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit was built by Mid-Atlantic Contractors, Inc., under the direction of its President, Jack Keenan, and architect Anthony Rissi of Rissi Associates Architects, PC.

It is the third mausoleum to be constructed in the Catholic cemetery. The Twelve Apostles and Chapel of the Risen Christ mausoleums are also at Resurrection. Altogether, there are more than 6,000 crypts and niches on the site that accommodate above-ground burial.

“Pre-planning for a Christian burial is a good idea at any stage of life,” said Gerrity, “as it provides peace of mind and assurance that family members’ wishes are granted. It eliminates having to make hasty, last minute decisions, which can be expensive, and makes a statement of your faith and continued family heritage.”

Pre-construction sales for the new mausoleum yielded a high volume of visitors, bringing in pre-planners as well as those who are in immediate need of a final resting place for a loved one, according to Gerrity.

“There has been great interest in the premier crypts and glass front niches in the Mausoleum of the Holy Spirit,” Gerrity said. “We also have outdoor locations available in Chapel of the Risen Christ.”

For more information, please visit diometuchen.org or contact the diocesan Office of Cemeteries at 800-943-8400 or cemeteries@diometuchen.org.

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