The Resurrection Garden Columbarium

"Creating an option for Christian burials at our church home."

Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi’s Resurrection Garden
For many centuries cemeteries were commonly found in churchyards, allowing churches to minister to the continuing spiritual needs of their members. There is a modern alternative which more and more churches are offering their members: the columbarium.

A columbarium is a collection of niches designed to house urns containing cremated human remains (cremains). Inscribed with the person’s name and dates of birth and death, columbaria (plural of columbarium) are constructed to serve as permanent structures in churchyards or within churches themselves.

The Resurrection Garden at Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi is located on “consecrated ground” immediately behind the church. This site provides a reverential place of interment of cremated ashes in a garden setting for visitation, remembrance, and contemplative prayer for the deceased.

The Resurrection Garden is self-funded, using income derived from the sale of niches for construction and operation.

Below are some frequently asked questions:

What are the benefits of a columbarium?

The benefits are many.  Here are the top three:

Spiritual Site for Final Resting – The principal benefit a columbarium affords church members and their families the opportunity to select their final resting place in the shadow of the church which has been central to their lives, a sacred site of beauty and dignity where their loved ones can visit and meditate at any time they visit the church.

Simplicity of Planning – The purchase of a columbarium niche eliminates the pressures of choosing a burial site, casket, vault and monument; also there is no need to plan for inurnment and memorial services at different locations and times.

Substantial Financial Saving – with the columbarium, significant costs are limited to cremation, the niche and the obituary.

Who administers the Resurrection Garden?

The columbarium is part of Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic Church and functions under the authority of the pastor.  A Columbarium Committee, appointed by the pastor, oversees operation of the columbarium.

How many niches are in The Resurrection Garden?

We currently have three columbarium walls installed in The Resurrection Garden.  Two of our walls contains 48 units and one of our walls contains 42 niches—and additional walls will be added as needed.

In November 2015, fifteen Stations of the Cross columbarium columns were installed and dedicated. Each Station Column features a plaque that illustrates one of the Stations of the Cross.  Each Station Column contains 16 niches -- 8 on opposing sides. These definitely add to the beauty of The Resurrection Garden and can be easily viewed and visited from the sculptured walkways that curve around the columbarium gardens.

Can Catholics be cremated?

Yes.  In May 1963, the Vatican’s Holy Office lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose cremation.  This permission was incorporated into the revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 (Canon #1176), as well as into the Order of Christian Funerals.  It then became standard practice to celebrate the funeral liturgies with the body and then take the body to the crematorium.  Most recently, the bishops of the United States and Holy See have authorized the celebration of a Catholic funeral liturgy with the cremains when the body is cremated before the funeral.

What does the purchase of a niche include?

The purchase of a niche will include a double occupancy niche, urn(s), opening and closing, engraving of the faceplate with up to two names, and perpetual care.  A payment plan is available.

How are the niches marked?

Each niche will provide the person’s legal name and dates of birth and death. Inscriptions will be of a uniform size on the faceplate of the niche.

How are the niches offered? Who can be inurned here?

The niches are offered to Catholic individuals on a “first come, first served” basis.  More columbarium walls will be installed as needed, so the number of niches available at any one time may be limited. Present and former registered members of the parish and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, together with their immediate families, are eligible to purchase niches.

Only human remains may be inurned at the columbarium. A niche can contain one urn containing one individual's ashes or two urns (married couples only), each urn containing one individual's ashes.

May I select the niche I want?

Niche assignments are coordinated by the Columbarium Committee and are allocated in accord with the desires of each applicant on a “first come, first served” basis, determined by the date of receipt of a fully completed, paid-in-full application.

What happens if I purchase a niche and decide later, for any reason, not to use it?

Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, acting through the Columbarium Committee, will have first rights to repurchase your niche at fair market value. The niche cannot be used by anyone other than those listed in the original purchase.

What if I already made other arrangements?

Should you prefer inurnment at The Resurrection Garden instead, you should contact the facility with which you made arrangements to learn how those arrangements can be terminated. 

Are there any Tax Benefits?

Since this is also a fundraising project for the church, a portion of your niche cost may be tax deductible. Please consult your financial advisor for more details.

When will The Resurrection Garden structure be completed and available for interments?

The Resurrection Garden at Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi is ready now.  Our first inurnment was on November 2, 2014--All Souls Day. We currently have 3 walls (138 niches) and fifteen Stations of the Cross Inurnment Columns (240 niches) installed.  As additional phases of The Resurrection Garden are completed, more landscaping will be added to make this a truly restful and beautiful place. 

What is the cost of a niche?

Pricing varies depending on the type of niche or wall chosen.

Columbarium Pricin(as of October 1, 2020)

  •      Columbaria North Wall:  $4,250 per double niche
  •      Columbaria South Wall:  all double niches purchased
  •      2020 Columbaria Chapel Wall: $4,750 per double niche
  •      Stations of the Cross:  $5,500 per double niche

We offer a 24-month payment plan and there is a $100 Administration Fee charge.

Is there a provision for member(s) unable to afford the cost of a niche?

The Pastor has the authority to discreetly excuse any part of or all the payment for a niche for anyone otherwise eligible.

Who do I contact for more information?

The Parish Office at (317)859-4673.

Quick Walk-through of the Resurrection Garden:



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