Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
February 12, 2001
Mausoleum expands again due to demand for crypts
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Edmonton Catholic Cemeteries is finally completing its mausoleum at Holy Cross Cemetery on St. Albert Trail.
The third phase of the mausoleum, a two-storey facility made of fieldstone on the exterior, and granite and marble on the interior, is slated to be completed at the end of February.
Opening ceremonies with Archbishop Thomas Collins will be held sometime in March.
The third phase, built at a cost of $2.2 million, is being added to the north of the existing mausoleum. It will contain 1,192 crypts, bringing the total number of crypts to 2,115.
The mausoleum also has 2,500 niches and can accommodate about 5,000 cremation urns.
The percentage of Catholic cremation versus casket burials in Edmonton Catholic Cemeteries has increased dramatically in the past decade, from 15 per cent in 1989 to about 37 per cent today.
But the mausoleum was not built for cremation, explained Nora Clemenger, director of cemeteries for the Edmonton Archdiocese.
"We make use of certain walls and spaces that would have been wasted space by putting cremation space in there," she said. "But the real bulk of the building is entombment spaces for caskets."
The mausoleum, Clemenger said, "was built primarily for full size casket entombment at the request of the Italian community. Mausoleum entombment is an Italian tradition that goes way, way back."
The first phase was built in 1989 and the second was completed in 1995. Before construction of the third phase began last year, more than 60 per cent of the crypts in the existing building had been sold. Sales for the crypts on the new wing haven't started yet.
Like phase two, the new phase has a skylight and a lot of glass, especially the north wall, which is just glass. "It's really going to be impressive, I think," commented Clemenger.
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