St Teresa of Avila Cemetery & Mausoleum

St Teresa of Avila Cemetery & Mausoleum – 136 Passaic Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901

Cemetery hours

Gateway to St Teresa Cemetery is open for your visitation convenience. Should you require contact with Cemetery staff for any reason, it is recommended that you time your visit to coincide with the normal work day schedule.

Monday – Friday 9AM to 4PM

Cemetery Phone: 908-598-9426

Mausoleum hours

Our Mausoleum doors are open 7 days a week, including holidays,

from 9 AM to 4 PM.

Please contact the office for an appointment.

Phone: 908-277-3741

Fax: 908-277-2914

Catholic Funeral Rites

The long-standing funeral and cemetery tradition of the Catholic church flows logically out of fundamental tenets of the Catholic faith, ie:

  • The dignity of each human person.
  • The importance of baptism into the faith.
  • The reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • The promise of Jesus that one day we will also share eternal life.
  • The value and need to pray for the dead.
  • The celebration of the Eucharist as the great act of memory and thanksgiving for redemption.

Death is rightly celebrated at the parish church, the place of Baptism and Eucharist, the place where the bereaved must find comfort in the believing community and strength in the Eucharist that is celebrated for them on behalf of their deceased relative or friend.

In the context of these faith realities, death and burial are experienced and must be celebrated.  The church provides the Order of Christian Funerals with three distinct elements as the proper and fitting way for the death of a Catholic to be observed.

The church offers the Vigil, usually observed as a wake for the deceased in the funeral home. The Mass of Christian Burial is celebrated for the deceased in the company of family, friends and the parish community at the parish church Following the celebration of the funeral liturgy, it is proper that the Committal Rite and Farewell take place in a Catholic cemetery.

Cemetery Program

A Catholic cemetery is by definition a sacred space. The church offers it to help people face the hard reality of death within the context of the promise of eternal life. The church owns and operates cemeteries for the common good.

By encouraging frequent visits of families and friends of the deceased, the church seeks to foster an environment where love is remembered, hope rekindled and faith awakened and strengthened. This website explains some of the Rules & Regulations the cemetery has adopted:

  1. Ensure that the cemetery is respected as sacred space,
well-maintained, healing and inviting to bereaved families and friends.
  2. Protect the rights and the privileges of the deceased, all families using the cemetery and those having loved ones buried here.
  3. Provide an environment that is safe and secure for those who visit the cemetery as well as those who work within it.

A comprehensive set of Rules & Regulations govern the cemetery. The Certificate that is issued at the time of purchase contains excerpts from the Rules that have been adopted both for good order and to manifest the church’s beliefs and teachings. All are subject to revision from time to time.

The church’s practice of maintaining cemeteries flows from theology and history. At death we focus on Baptism and the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, nourished at the Eucharistic Table. When we visit the graves or crypts of our loved ones, we experience that same Eucharistic dynamic. Often times we recognize the need for reconciliation with our beloved dead.

Rooted in that recognition, we can then remember our beloved and give thanks for the life we shared. Our cemetery manifests the “now/not yet” status of the Kingdom of God. We are now a people of history, a people redeemed but still in pain and sorrow. In the future, with both the general and particular judgment, we will experience the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom. This is why we pray as Jesus did, “thy Kingdom come…”

We are a people who come to our cemetery to be reminded of our history, our Catholic beliefs and practices…and our community. We, as a community, profess our beliefs and value system..even in the silence of the grave.

In our Catholic cemetery, our deceased relatives and friends are laid to rest among members of the same faith community who preceded into eternal life and profess the same sure conviction that one day the body will be reunited with the soul in glory to be with the Risen Lord. Then the Kingdom of God will be fully realized.

Burial Arrangements

For Catholics, burial in a Catholic cemetery is a baptismal right.  For those who do not possess this right, it is a privilege.  The Catholic cemetery is intended for the interment of Catholics, catechumens and members of their families who have this right to Christian burial according to the rules of the Roman Catholic Church.  Questions concerning the burial of a non-Catholic member of a certificate-holder’s family should be referred to the pastor.  Burial arrangements are typically facilitated through the funeral home selected by the family.  The Certificate of the Right of Interment is the governing cemetery document

When space on an existing lot is available and the certificate holder is deceased and has not specifically passed the certificate rights through a will, a legal order of succession is followed.  The succession begins with the surviving spouse and the owner’s children.  In the absence of both, then rights pass to the owner’s parents.  If no parents are living, then the succession passes to the owner’s brothers and sisters equally, then to the owner’s closest next of kin.  Further detail can be found in the Archdiocese Official Cemetery Rules & Regulations.

An interment space is used for ground burial, crypt entombment or niche inurnment.  For new selections, the cemetery/mausoleum staff can explain the various available alternatives.  When a family wishes to include cremated remains in a plot or mausoleum crypt space, the number of burials allowed in the particular space is determined by space availability, memorialization capability and the discretion of cemetery management.  It is expected that all Catholic committals will be celebrated by a priest, deacon or pastoral minister.

At the time of interment, cemetery management reserves the right to limit the number of floral tributes. Except as specified, no flowers are permitted inside the mausoleum.  Flowers placed on a grave at the time of burial will remain at the discretion of management but the cemetery cannot ensure how long that these items will remain in place.

Memorialization

Everyone deserves to be remembered by name. Since the cemetery protects the common good of all certificate-holders and uses the cemetery to teach Catholic belief, memorialization is carefully regulated.

Placement of monuments or the additions or changes of any inscriptions thereon must  be authorized by the legitimate certificate holder and approved by cemetery management.

Death date, season of the year and family’s first contact with a monument dealer impact when a memorial can be placed. Prior to the manufacture of any memorial, monument companies must receive cemetery approval for material, design, size and any inscriptions or artwork. Every memorial must include a cross, the Catholic sign of redemption. All memorial work must meet established cemetery standards.

Foundation and permit fees must be collected by cemetery management prior to any installation or alterations of memorials. Required structural repairs to any monument are the responsibility of the deed holder or his designee. Arrangements for repairs must be made with an authorized monument dealer and coordinated with cemetery management.

Cemetery Decorations

We honor the tradition of visitors expressing their love and devotion by decorating graves where loved ones are buried.  Catholic practice is to adorn burial spaces with flowers. Decorating, however, must be done in a way that does not create a safety hazard; impede proper maintenance; infringe on other graves; diminish the Catholic character of the cemetery or offend others.

To maintain a place of lasting beauty and to accommodate the many families who share the Right of Interment in our cemetery, the following summary of uniform and practical policies have been adopted:

Wreaths and artificial decorations may be placed at the head of a grave in the non-growing season:  October 15 – April 1

Artificial decorations are not permitted during the growing season (April 1 – October 15) as metal backing can damage mowers.

A limit of one decoration to a grave is recommended.

Decorations to be saved should be removed promptly by the family.  Christmas greens not removed by February 1 will be removed by cemetery staff.

Annual plants may only be placed in a 12” bed directly in front of the memorial and must not exceed the width of the memorial.  The family should provide regular care for all their plantings.

Bushes and evergreens are not to exceed the height of the memorial or the width of the grave space.  Such plantings will be removed if they become too large for the available space.

Jars, vases, bottles and crockery are not permitted.  These items are subject to damage and/or freezing and are dangerous when broken.

Statuary, vigil lights and other ornaments are not permitted.

Outlining a grave or memorial with metal or plastic frames, stones or crushed stone is not permitted.  These items are destructive to mowers and can cause serious injury if hurled by mower blades.

The use of cemetery rubbish containers would be appreciated.

The grave space of a loved one is precious and cherished.  Parking, therefore, is restricted to the roadway.

Safety and moderation are the norms.  No standing water can be allowed.  Flowers that are placed in urns, pots or self-draining vases should be dignified and tasteful.  Items affixed to the outside of containers or to monuments will be removed.

The cemetery reserves the right to remove any decorations which become unsightly, encroach the adjoining space or which are not consistent with our uniform plan.

Since the cemetery is open to the public, the staff cannot be responsible for any damage to or disappearance of decorations.

These guidelines are only effective if observed by  both visitors and employees.

Landscape Management

St Teresa Cemetery is committed to maintaining its cemetery in a fashion that reflects the church’s teachings about the dignity of every human person.  A Cemetery Endowment Fund is maintained to guarantee this commitment.

This endowment fund ensures that a responsible staff will be available to maintain the cemetery to an established standard. Staff responsibilities include regular mowing of grass, trimming around monuments and memorials and weed control.

The fund also enables the cemetery to sod new graves, repair older graves and repair monument foundations if and when needed. For reasons of uniform beauty as well as safety and insurance concerns, only employees may cut, sod or add chemicals to the landscape.

Shrubbery:  When shrubbery overshadows names on monuments, infringes on adjoining graves or interferes with cemetery operations, it can be removed without notice.  Families are urged to monitor shrub items and personally remove or request cemetery management to remove any offending growths.

Water:  During all but freezing months, water outlets provided in the cemetery enable families to tend to flowers and plants placed on graves.  Outlets are not intended for lawn sprinkling devices.  When found, these will be removed. In compliance with New Jersey Health Statute 26: 3B-6, standing water is not permitted in the cemetery.

Refuse: Because of recycle and disposal challenges, we are a “carry-in/carry-out” facility. However, a number of receptacles are available at various locations throughout the cemetery for limited use. Trash should never be abandoned within the cemetery or on roadways.

American Flags: Small flags are permitted on individual graves from Memorial Day through Flag Day and Veterans Day. Veteran’s Day flags may be placed 3 days prior to the holiday and remain one week after the holiday. All flags must be presentable and will be removed and disposed of according to the norms of the Quartermaster General of the United States Army. Shaft-type veteran and fraternal organization emblems are not permitted as flag holders.

Pre-need Planning

At the time of a death in a family, there are many obligations that fall upon the survivors. Our Cemetery Program highly recommends that all families consider purchase of grave, crypt or niche spaces in advance of immediate needs. This allows the time surrounding a death to be devoted to family members supporting one another and proper planning for the liturgical rites that will celebrate the deceased’s movement to eternal life.

Contact with our cemetery/mausoleum office will begin the flow of information about burial alternatives, associated costs and provide answers to questions that can help reduce the stress often associated with burial arrangements.

Clean-up Schedules

Regular Maintenance: Items that are considered unsightly are removed by the grounds crew as a matter of routine. It is recommended that families return to their gravesite after a reasonable time has elapsed to retrieve/discard any items no longer considered attractive.

Cemetery General Clean-Up: Christmas Grave Blankets and other Christmas remembrances are removed by February 1. Easter Palm and other Easter remembrances are removed by May 1. Flags and other holiday remembrances are removed within a reasonable time frame to allow for routine lawn care by our grounds crew.

Decorations Not Complying With Rules: Cemetery employees are responsible for maintaining the beauty and safety of the cemetery. As instructed by the Rules & Regulations, to ensure their safety and the safety of all who visit the cemetery, they are expected to remove decorations which are not in compliance.

Wind and Theft: Decorations may also be removed by either of these causes. As it is impossible for employees to be everywhere at all times, the cemetery cannot assume liability for decorations. When items are blown about, the grounds crew has no choice but to dispose of them as replacement at specific sites is not possible.