Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Wednesday, May 4, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Local
3/31/2012 2:17:00 PM
New burial option seen as way to leave legacy of nature
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
The entry to Mount Calvary Cemetery's natural burial section includes a quote from Leviticus and an image of St. Francis of Assisi.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Ed Langlois
The entry to Mount Calvary Cemetery's natural burial section includes a quote from Leviticus and an image of St. Francis of Assisi.
Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

The way we handle death can mar the environment.

Cremation consumes large amounts of fossil fuel and gives off greenhouse gases. And until now, cemeteries have meant fluids, buried heavy metals, interred toxic fluids and large lawns that get mowed, sprayed, fertilized and watered.

Mount Calvary Cemetery in the hills above Portland has a new answer: green burial. Cemetery staff have created a quiet wooded section with 120 graves and special rules meant to be respectful to the body and kind to creation.

The section overlooking the Tualatin Valley is named for St. Francis of Assisi, who understood creation as a way to meet God.

There are no concrete forms in the ground here. Required are caskets built of wood or shrouds made from cotton or other natural fibers. Bodies cannot be embalmed, a process that uses poisonous chemicals. Grave decorations can be cut flowers (no containers) but even better, families can choose from a list of native plants that will be rooted in the ground. Natural stones inscribed with names and dates can be placed on the grave; the names of those buried in the section also will be engraved on a large marker at the entry point.

The area won't include grass and paths, but will be left as natural as possible. As families plant memorial vegetation, nature will reclaim the parcel, which will become a special permanent forest preserve.

Green burial can be "completely consistent with Catholic beliefs," says Tim Corbett, superintendent of Catholic cemeteries for the Archdiocese of Portland. There may be challenges in timing for visitation and funerals, but Corbett says that can be overcome if families plan carefully with the mortuary director.

Corbett began hearing about the option about five years ago. Mount Calvary is the second Catholic cemetery in the nation to offer green burial. He knows the idea might sound a bit "left coast," but thinks younger Catholics may find it deeply meaningful.

"If everybody chose this, we'd have 500 acres of endowed forest," Corbett says. "I view it as a way for people to leave a legacy when they die."  

At the start, the St. Francis section won't allow interment of cremated remains. Also, people can't choose an exact gravesite because the graves must be used in a specific order lest the special plantings of previous graves be disturbed. That also means that husbands and wives can't guarantee they'd be buried side by side, but could both be in the area.

So far, only one person has paid to buried in the area. If the idea becomes popular, Corbett may expand it.

It's possible to pay ahead in a trust that's fully refundable. Green burial may cost a bit more than the standard process because grave sites need to be larger and access for staff is much more difficult.  

The first modern Catholic burial ground to offer the green option was Mount Carmel Cemetery in Wyandotte, Mich., near Lake Erie.  

“There is no more appropriate way to honor our Catholic Christian tradition of Resurrection faith than by fitting into a natural cycle of death and rebirth where we honor both our loved ones and God’s good earth,” Father Charles Morris, administrator of the Michigan cemetery, told the National Catholic Reporter in 2009.

“While some may regard this form of burial as odd, remember that Jesus was laid to rest in a shroud without embalming or a burial vault. This has been the way Christians have honored their loved ones throughout most of the church’s 2,000 years.”

But the idea has not taken off in Wyandotte, where only five people have purchased plots. Cemetery officials there have reduced the green burial acreage by half.  
 
 



Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved