St. Joseph's Garden

St. Joseph's Garden, the columbarium at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, is an area set aside for the final resting place of cremains. The columbarium is located on church grounds.



Church's Position on Cremation

In May, 1963, the Vatican's Holy Office (now, the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith), lifted the ban forbidding a Catholic to choose cremation. This was incorporated in the revised code of Canon Law (#1176) as well as in the Order of Christian Funerals. The Church encourages placement of the cremains in a final resting place. Theologically, the Roman Catholic Church maintains a preference for bodily burial rather than cremation. The Church strongly prefers the body be present for the burials rites with cremation following unless circumstances dictate otherwise.


Fitting Origins of Columbarium

The word "columbarium" derives from the Latin word columbra, a word meaning dovecote, a compartmentalized house where doves come to roost and rest for the evening. The dove is traditionally a symbol of the Holy Spirit and peace. A columbariums is a structure which contains niches, or compartments, for the inurnment of the cremains of our deceased. This seems a beautiful, fitting image for the final resting place for our loved ones' cremains.


Who May Be Inurned At St. Joseph's Garden

St. Joseph's Garden is primarily reserved for the registered members of St. Alphonsus and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Churches and their immediate families. However, former members of these churches, members of nearby Catholic parishes, and other individuals may request inurnment in the columbarium.

The Columbarium Structures & Niches

Our columbarium is comprised of six structures made of Italian gray marble which have been set on a platform laid with natural stone from Cumberland County. Each of our columbarium structures are named after a saint. The names of the saints were chosen because the saint demonstrated characteristics of peace, harmony, love, compassion, and humility during their lifetimes

Black granite engravable faceplates cover the niches. Each niche holds a single urn; double niches will hold two urns. Prior to placement in the selected niche, the urn is sealed and engraved. Once an urn is placed in its niche, it is covered with an engraved granite faceplate. Subscribers may choose any available niche at the time of subscription.


Single Niche $1,250
(suitable for cremains of one person)  
Double Niche $2,500
(suitable for the cremains of two people)  
Costs include the niche, a satin-polished bronze urn, a share engravable granite faceplate, engraving, and opening and closing Does not include cremation, funeral home expenses, flowers, church expenses, or any other related fees.
Space is presently available in any of the six structures Requests for a specific niche are accommodated if possible.
Price Subject to change.  


Contact Information

For additional information or to make arrangements for a niche, contact a member of the Columbarium Board at or call 931-484-2358



Contact Information

For additional information or to make arrangements for a niche, contact a member of the Columbarium Board at or call 931-484-2358


There is no way to avoid certain decisions in life and it is often difficult for families to face these decisions while grieving the loss of a loved one. We encourage you to take your time to consider a final resting place.