5.8.4.6 Programs of Care, Endowed Care Fund and Surplus Funds of Cemeteries

1. To provide for the long-term care and maintenance of each parish cemetery, a minimum of 15% of the proceeds from the sale of burial, entombment or inurnment rights to lots, crypts and niches must be placed into a restricted, irrevocable endowed care fund that is established for this purpose. [1] Parishes with underfunded endowed care funds must submit a plan to achieve a full funding to the Department of Finance and Development. (See commentary below.)

2. This fund is to be called the “Endowed Care Fund,” separated from other parish funds, and its principal is to be invested in the Diocesan Trust and Endowment Savings Program, or at least, according to the norms of the Diocese of Lansing. The accrued endowment care fund will be evaluated by the diocese to ensure that it is funded properly. [2] (Consult the Department of Finance and Development for the currently approved investments.)

3. Only income (i.e., interest) produced by this endowed care fund may be used for the ordinary longterm care, maintenance and improvement of the cemetery. No part of the principal of the endowed care fund is to be spent for any reason without written dispensation from the diocesan bishop.

4. The ordinary long-term care and maintenance of the cemetery includes:

   a. cutting and trimming at reasonable intervals;

   b. raking, filling, seeding and sodding of graves;

   c. tools and equipment used for cemetery landscaping purposes;

   d. cost of parts, repair, gas and oil for such equipment;

   e. trash removal;

   f. replacement, pruning or removal of shrubs and trees to assure access to interment rights;

   g. repair and maintenance of fencing, building, drives, walks and common flowers of memorial gardens;

   h. cemetery administration, including, but not limited to: electronic hardware and software, accounting, phone, utilities or other expenses associated with maintaining a cemetery office;

   i. total or partial cost of wages and benefits for cemetery employees involved in the management, care and maintenance of the cemetery.

5. However, ordinary long-term care, maintenance and improvement shall not be construed to include the repair or service to any lot, shrub or memorial, including work caused by the natural impoverishment of the soil for the sole benefit of a single lot holder. Such should be addressed as part of the general care of the whole cemetery.

6. Annual cemetery collections do not replace the obligation to have such an endowed care fund, though they may supplement it.

7. Administrators of funds are advised to consult the Cemetery Office for the most current recommendations regarding the ratio of income to developed burial space.

8 Surplus funds from parish cemeteries are to be deposited in the diocesan Savings and Loan Program (see #6.G.1).



[1] Diocese of Lansing, Internal Controls and Accounting Manual (November 2001, rev. December 2010), policy #2000 – Cemeteries, n. 5; p. A.43.

[2] Policy #2000 – Cemeteries, ibid.


Date approved by Bishop


Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor