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Question 346

Good afternoon Father. Both my parents are buried in the St. Nicolas graveyard. I visit monthly. Many of the graves and the graveyard itself is very neglected. Yesterday I complained of the weeds and the general untidiness and was told it's our responsibility.   

   

 

Answer to Question 346

 

 The church is responsible for the pathways which are all concrete and so don't need a lot of maintenance other than making sure they are not littered with rubbish. The graves themselves belong to the families and have deeds of ownership, therefore the upkeep of the graves is the responsibility of the families and they are responsible for keeping them clean and free of weeds. Many of the graves have been abandoned and/or are rarely visited, which accounts for why they have become overgrown with weeds. The only way for the church to keep all the graves clean and tidy is to employ a maintenance person to clean them and one way to do this is to make a yearly charge to pay for his wages, but then people would complain for this extra charge. In the village where I serve the cemetery belongs to the Village community council and the Village council adds a surcharge of about 5 euros on the yearly rates for the upkeep of the cemetery which I think is a fair charge, but the cemetery of St. Nicolas is run by the church and they cannot add to people's rates, so how would the Church make this payment compulsory and how would they collect it?