Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, on Lake Avenue, was founded in 1871 by Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid as an independent not-for-profit religious corporation. In its 141-year history, it has expanded to 340 acres, and is now the largest and most active cemetery in the Rochester area and one of the largest in New York State. Its mission is to serve the Catholic community. Nearly 300,000 persons are interred at Holy Sepulchre.
Interesting Fact about Company Holy Sepulchre, which employs approximately 40 people, is an independent not-for-profit corporation and not a part of the Catholic Diocese of Rochester. "Although serving the Catholic Community, anyone, regardless of their religious affiliation, can be buried there if related to the Catholic purchaser," says James Weisbeck, general manager and executive director. Additionally, Weisbeck clarifies some common misperceptions that "Catholics are allowed to be cremated and Holy Sepulchre is not running out of space." Weisbeck notes that there is sufficient space to serve the community for another 50 to 60 years.
What's New at Holy Sepulchre In 2008, its Christ Our Light mausoleum was unveiled. "This large mausoleum, designed and built locally by SWBR Architects and LeChase Construction, has been acknowledged as one the most architecturally significant mausoleums in the North America," says Weisbeck. In 2009, it was awarded a Citation by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 2012, both locations will be opening natural or green burial sections.
In 2011, a second cemetery, Ascension Garden, was opened in Henrietta to better serve Catholics in southeastern Monroe County. Ascension Garden encompasses 109 acres at the intersection of Pinnacle and Williams roads. In 2012, it was awarded the Community of Excellence award for Outstanding Design and Construction by the Henrietta Chamber of Commerce.
Challenges When asked about the biggest challenges affecting their business, Weisbeck cites "the exodus of people from the Rochester area to escape high taxes and excessive regulatory oversight by federal, state and local authorities, coupled with the weak economy."
Rochester Business Alliance Member Holy Sepulchre has been a member of the RBA for more than 10 years. "We rely on RBA for recruiting 10 to 15 temporary summer or seasonal workers. Service and results have been excellent. We have also participated in the RBA's annual Employee Compensation Survey as a guide to wage and salary administration, and use RBA for reference checking information, seminars and information relative to employment law and human resource issues," says Weisbeck.
Contact Info James Weisbeck, General Manager and Executive Director Holy Sepulchre Cemetery 2461 Lake Ave. Rochester, NY 14612 (585) 458-4110 www.holysepulchre.org
By Kevin Donahue, director of membership and business development