The Marian Helpers’ Columbarium

The Marian Helpers’ Columbarium offers a sacred resting place for the cremated remains of members of the Association of Marian Helpers and their relatives. We Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. will remember those inurned here in particular Masses and prayers perpetually.

The Columbarium is located in the Eden Hill cemetery where members of our Marian religious community are buried. The marble structure contains 72 niches with marble faceplates, where bronze memorial plaques are installed.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is a structure with niches to hold urns containing cremated mortal remains. The word is derived from the Latin word columba, which means the dwelling place of a dove. This name may have been chosen because the burial niches resemble dovecotes or because the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit whose presence is associated with the resting place of the faithful departed.

2. Does the Catholic Church permit cremation?
Yes. Usually, Christian burial involves a coffin and a corpse, but the Church does also permit the dignified Christian burial or internment of “cremains,” the cremated remains of a member of the faithful, so long as their cremation is not motivated by denial of the resurrection of the dead (see Catechism, 2301). Moreover, “The ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority” (Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ad Resurgendum cum Christo, 5). Our new columbarium in the Marian Cemetery on the grounds of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is set aside and dedicated for this expressed purpose.

3. Why did the Marian Fathers build a Columbarium?
Since our founding, the Marian Fathers have exercised a special calling from God (charism) to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The Columbarium establishes a lasting bond between us Marian Fathers and those who are inurned here and their family and friends for generations to come.

4. How many urns will a niche hold?
A niche measures 12 x 12 x 16 inches and will hold up to 2 urns.

You can purchase a marble urn with the Image of Divine Mercy carved on it from us at If you choose to order one from another supplier, we stipulate that it be made of a non-perishable material, such as ceramic, stone, marble, glass or metal.

5. What is the cost to reserve a niche?
$6,000 reserves one niche for up to two urns, which includes opening and closing the niche during inurnment, manufacture and installation of the bronze memorial plaque, and the ongoing care of the Columbarium and cemetery. No portion of this cost is considered a gift to the Marian Fathers.

6. Are there other costs for inurnment in the Columbarium?
The simple answer is “no,” however there are separate costs for funeral home services and for a funeral.

7. What funeral rites are celebrated when a person is cremated and inurned?
“The Church clearly prefers and urges that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral rites, since the presence of the human body better expresses the values which the Church affirms in those rites” (Canon no. 413).

Ideally, if a family chooses cremation, the cremation would take place at some time after the Funeral Mass, so that there is an opportunity for the Vigil for the Deceased in the presence of the body (during “visitation” or “viewing” at a church or funeral home). However, all the usual funeral rites may be celebrated in the presence of cremated remains. During the liturgy, the cremated remains are treated with the same dignity and respect as the full body. After the Funeral Mass or rites the remains are placed in the Columbarium.

8. Where will the Funeral Mass [and Memorial Services] be celebrated?
Generally, the Funeral Mass for a deceased member of the faithful is celebrated at their parish.

9. How will payments to reserve a niche be used?
Funds reserving the right of inurnment in a niche will cover the construction of the Columbarium and support a permanent care and improvements fund to meet the ongoing operating expenses and maintenance of the Eden Hill Cemetery and grounds.

10. How can I get more information or purchase a niche?
Email questions to [email protected] or call 1-800-462-7426.