St. John Vianney Parish
26 East Main Street, Fort Kent, ME 04743
RULES GOVERNING ST. JOHN VIANNEY PARISH CEMETERIES
The cemeteries are parcels of land legally belonging to the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland, a Corporation Sole, and held in trust for Saint John Vianney Parish. The Pastor of Saint John Vianney Parish is the Administrator of the Cemeteries. In governance of the Cemeteries, a Cemetery Board advises the Pastor.
For the purposes of these rules, the Saint John Vianney Parish Cemeteries include:
- Paul’s Cemetery in Allagash
- Charles Old & New Cemeteries in St. Francis
- John’s Cemetery in St. John Plantation
- Holy Family Cemetery in New Canada
- Joseph Old & New Cemeteries in Wallagrass
- Sacred Heart Cemetery in Soldier Pond
- Louis Old & New Cemeteries in Fort Kent
- Mary’s Cemetery in Eagle Lake
Saint John Vianney Parish Cemeteries comply with the civil laws of the State of Maine and with all possible ordinances legally enacted by the local Towns.
Saint John Vianney Parish Cemeteries comply with all Church laws, universal and particular, concerning the burial of the dead. Diocesan Regulations of April 16, 1970, amended in January 2012, contain the following provisions:
- Christian burial is a right and not a privilege.
- Catholic cemeteries are consecrated and dedicated for the burial of human remains, once temples of the Holy Spirit. No pets or animals of any kind shall be allowed burial in a Catholic cemetery.
- Before a priest can deny Christian burial, he must consult with the Bishop.
- Those not to be denied Christian burial include :
- Those committing suicide
- Those who neglect Mass and the Sacraments
- Ordinary excommunicates
- Those married outside Church law
- Unbaptized infants
- Non-Catholics, baptized or unbaptized, may purchase rights and be buried in a Catholic cemetery
- Cremated remains (referred to as “cremains”) may be buried in Catholic cemeteries
- All burials, full body or cremains, must be buried in an approved vault
- No committal service shall be conducted in any Catholic cemetery, chapel, or mausoleum without the presence of the remains of the deceased for which the service is being conducted
- The cemetery management shall inter, entomb, or inurn only the complete cremated remains of a human body. No distribution, scattering, separation, or comingling of cremains shall be allowed.
Saint John Vianney Parish Cemeteries accept all of the above diocesan regulations and any other, which may be issued in the future. Saint John Vianney Parish Cemeteries enter into binding agreements with persons who pay the current fees for burial rights, perpetual care, and grave openings. The Cemeteries will not change the conditions agreed upon without the consent of the person concerned or his/her designated heirs. The person or heirs of the person making the agreement with Saint John Vianney Parish Cemeteries may not change the conditions of the agreement without the approval of the Pastor of Saint John Vianney Parish.
Payment of the “burial right” fees does not constitute a legal transfer or property ownership. Legal title to the burial plot or gravesite remains with the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portland, a Corporation Sole. In issuing a receipt for payment for a burial plot, Saint John Vianney Cemetery assures the payee that no one may be buried in that plot without the consent of the payee or his/her heirs. The agreement essentially constitutes a “right of burial” of designated persons. The payee agrees that no other use of plot may be made without the consent of the Pastor of Saint John Vianney Parish. The payee agrees to comply with all the rules and regulations now in effect governing the setting of grave markers and/or monuments, the care and decoration of graves, and with all the rules and regulations which the Cemetery Board may issue in the future.
Rules and Regulations
I Monuments and Markers:
- The erection of a monument form and accompanying fees must be completed and obtained prior to the installation of any monument or marker.
- Only those types of markers or monuments which are in harmony with the general appearance of the cemetery will be approved.
- Only one headstone per lot is permitted.
- Excessive display, unusually large sizes, or other departures from the prevailing customs in markers are discouraged.
- Irreverent, sacrilegious, or profane symbols or wording are forbidden.
- Upright monuments must have a concrete base.
- Angle-faced monuments or head markers should also have a concrete base.
- Flat foot markers do not require a concrete base. These must be positioned flush to the ground level.
- Corner lot markers are not allowed.
- Markers and monuments will be placed only in a straight line with other such in the same row.
- Head stones will be set just about the head of a grave or a grave combination. Foot markers will be set over the foot of a grave.
- A foot marker may be substituted for a head stone located in the head stone position. However, head stones may never be located in a foot marker position.
- Mounds or elevations of graves are not permitted.
- Fences or perimeter markings are not permitted.
- Foreign soils, such as crushed rock, are not to be used in the cemetery.
- Concrete foundations are not to be poured in any lots of the old section until all graves are occupied.
II Care of Graves
- Saint John Vianney Parish Cemeteries reserve the right and assume the responsibility of caring for the whole cemetery including the grave sites. This is funded by perpetual care. Included are:
- Initial grading and regrading of graves.
- Initial seeding and reseeding with lawn grass.
- Mowing the grass and trimming around the monuments as needed.
- All Work performed in the cemetery will only be done by the contracted caretakers.
III Decorations or Ornaments for Graves and Monuments
To allow for proper care and maintenance of the grounds and to provide for the safety of the cemetery attendant, the following rules apply:
- Items permitted in the cemetery:
- Decorations firmly mounted on headstones or monument bases.
- Vigil lamps and holding rods inserted in the ground immediately next to the monument base.
- Small military, American, or decorative flags provided they are placed in approved metal holders/hangers and inserted in the ground immediately on either side of the monument base.
- Military/American flags for Memorial Day may be inserted in the ground immediately in front of the monument base and must be removed by the owner within two weeks following Memorial Day.
- Items not permitted in the cemetery:
- Decorations not securely fastened to the headstone or monument base.
- Shepherd’s crooks or other plant hangers.
- Personal trees, shrubs, plants, or flowers planted on the cemetery grounds.
- Landscaping materials such as crushed rock, mulch, etc.
- Items which are inappropriate or which may endanger visitors or the attendant.
- Removal of decorations:
- All military/American flags placed for Memorial Day must be removed by the owner within two weeks following Memorial Day.
- All other decorations must be removed by October 15, or the attendant will dispose of them. Decorations must be disposed of in proper trash receptacles.
Disinternment of human remains occurs only in compliance with State and local laws and ordinances and with the supervision of the cemetery caretaker. The Cemetery Board presumes that once a person is interred they are not to be relocated within, or outside, of the Cemetery.
V Perpetual Care
- No burial right permit will be issued unless accompanied by the payment of a perpetual care fee.
- Perpetual care funds may not be expended for any purpose. Those funds will be invested in the Diocesan Savings and Loan Program. The income accruing as interest from these investments will be used for general care, improvements, or development of the cemetery.
VI Payment Schedules and Fees
- Arrangements for payment will be made before the burial as well as completion of all cemetery related forms.
- A receipt will be issued bearing the lot number. This will constitute a burial right permit.
- The same receipt will indicate the perpetual care fee paid.
- The Pastor may make an exception for the truly indigent.
- Cost per cemetery burial right easement (registered parishioners) ....... $350.00
- Cost per cremation burial right easements (registered parishioners) .....$200.00
- Cost per cemetery burial right easement (non parishioners) ..................$575.00
- Cost per cremation burial right easement (non parishioners) .................$375.00
- Cost of burial rite easement for urn placed in family lot ..........................$300.00
- Cost of opening & closing for caskets .......................................................$350.00
- Cost of opening & closing for urns ............................................................$200.00
- Saturday burial surcharge........................................................................$ 50.00
- Use of vault services for winter months (registered parishioners) ..........$100.00
- Use of vault services for winter months (non parishioners) ....................$200.00
*Fees subject to change upon recommendation of Parish and Finance Committees
*One half of the burial right easement fee is designated for perpetual care of the cemetery lot
VII Burial Lot Specifications:
- Regular burial lot (one person or maximum three cremains) shall normally be 10 feet by 4 feet of surface area in size. (12 feet by 4 feet in St. Francis)
- A regular cremation lot (one cremain) shall normally be 3 feet by 3 feet of surface area in size.
Effective August 20, 2015