Our History

cemeteryWelland’s first Catholic Cemetery was opened in 1864 on a piece of land surrounding the first Roman Catholic Church of the Japanese Martyrs on Church Street.  In 1920 the location was moved to a location on what is now Niagara Street North and Woodlawn Road, comprising of ten acres purchased by the Pastor of St. Peter & Paulo Parish, the late Rev, I Ostaszewski.  Later in 1954 an additional 10 acres were purchased by the parishes in the city, thus at present we have 20 acres in what we know as Holy Cross Cemetery.  Holy Cross was operated by a sexton until 1955 at which time the operation of the Cemetery was turned over to St. Mary’s Parish as the mother church for the city of Welland.   At the time of the change, new prices and a few rules and regulations were put into effect and a full time sexton was hired.  In 1956, a tractor was purchased, 1960 a truck, and in 1961 a large motorized mower.  In 1962 was the installation of water outlets in various parts of the cemetery.  In 1964 a permanent garage was built, tool shed and heated change rooms washroom, lunchroom for the employees.

When Monsignor Vincent J. Ferrando took over as director of the cemetery, he realized that the matter of cemetery records were of the utmost importance.  In order to set up a permanent file time was taken to copy out the names and dates on every stone in the cemetery.

In March 1958 a full time superintendant was hired, who took care of the cemetery and his subsequent service proved his dedication to do everything that he could to improve the cemetery, and bring it up to the point where it would be a place of which we could all be proud.