Removal of Decorations at Cemetery


In preparation for Spring, please plan to have all grave site decorations at Holy Cross Cemetery removed no later than April 1 each year. Any that remain after this date will be picked up by the committee. Thank you!


Holy Cross Cemetery

The Holy Cross Cemetery has a rich history dating back to 1896 when the land was donated by William Ryan specifically to serve as a cemetery.  The donated ground included the burial site of William’s young son, Michael.  Much of the information and story of the Holy Cross Cemetery can be found here. 

 In October 2007 the Holy Cross Cemetery Committee was established. The committee represents both St. Mary-Holy Cross Parish members, and non-members who reside in Washington Township.  Most of the first two years were spent reviewing and researching the responsibilities and obligations of a cemetery in the eyes of the State of Iowa, the community and the Des Moines Diocese.  This guidance was critical to the development and establishment of official processes for plot location, plot sales and documentation, cemetery maintenance and perpetual care, fiscal management, and all cemetery rules.  The policies and forms included here are results of many hours work by a dedicated committee, committed to assuring the Holy Cross Cemetery will continue be a beautiful and protected resting place for loved ones in the middle of a rich prairie.  Please feel free to contact any committee members with questions and or requests to purchase plots.

Holy Cross Cemetery News
During the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Masses of Memorial Day weekend, the second collection will be in behalf of the Holy Cross Cemetery. The funds will be used for the maintenance of the grounds tile, mowing, spraying, and driveway. Annual costs average approximately $4,000. Thank you for your generous contribution.   Additionally, the Knights of Columbus are partnering with the Cemetery Committee to host a benefit Pancake Breakfast for the Cemetery on the morning of Memorial Day. The entire Parish, families and friends are invited to come for fellowship, reflections, and a hot breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, coffee, and juice will be served between 8:00 and 9:00a.m. Memorial Day Mass will begin at 10:00a.m. Thank you for your support to assure Holy Cross Cemetery remains a beautiful resting place.

A Note from our Cemetery Committee:
Rules for grave decoration:
  • All flowers and decorations are to be removed by April 1 and October 1.
  • Place flowers and decorations as close to the headstone as possible.
  • Planting is not allowed in the Cemetery – this includes trees, shrubs, and bushes.
  • Glass and metal containers are not to be left at grave sites or in the cemetery.

Cemetery Committee:          Laurie Phelan (Chair)           515-201-6111

                                                             Karen Bellis                               515-360-1465

                                                             Pat Bishop                                  515-387-1391 

                                                            Lowell Crouse                           515-387-9530

                                                            John Freeman                           641-363-4462

                                                            Tracy Irwin                                  515-771-3071

                                                            Lynn Schreurs                           515-681-1351  

                                                            Larry Shaw                                  515-720-3587

                                                            Mary Winders                           641-227-3346 

Cemetery Management Policy, 8-30-09

Cemetery Handbook, 8-30-09

Cemetery Interment Pricing and Sales Forms, 8-09