Welcome to the St. Joseph Cemetery Website

 

Cemetery Info

Msgr. Michael Shershanovich - Director

Mark McKeever - Superintendent

Diana Dobbert-Bump - Office Manager

 

222 Pecks Rd.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Telephone 413 499-1317
Fax 413 499-2077
email: stjoecem@verizon.net

 

Cemetery Hours
May - Sept. 8:00am -8:00pm
Oct. - Apr. 8:00am - 4:00pm


Office Hours
Monday - Friday 10:00am - 3:00pm

 


Our Mission


Since 1853 St. Joseph Cemetery has been building a heritage rooted in faith and built on dignity, respect and caring service. Much of the history of our community can be traced through the generations of area residents buried within our boundaries. Between the lines of the names and dates found in our cemetery are the stories of those who came before us --- many of them our ancestors who pioneered this area and helped build our city and towns and opened the businesses that support our lives. We at St. Joseph Cemetery take pride in this heritage and in serving the needs of area Catholics and their families.

Cemetery Background

Cemetery History


The first St. Joseph Cemetery in Pittsfield was founded in 1846 on Melville Street next to the original St. Joseph Church building.  That cemetery quickly filled to capacity and in 1853 a large farm owned by the Hynes family was purchased on Pecks Road.  The present St. Joseph Cemetery was opened there and expanded with additional land purchases in 1869 and 1931 to bring the cemetery to its present size of 225 acres.

St. Joseph Church was the only Catholic Church in Pittsfield in 1853. But as immigration boomed in Pittsfield in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many new parishes were founded to meet the needs of the growing Catholic population.  St. Joseph Cemetery was there to meet the burial needs of all these parishes over the years and this tradition continues today.  The Cemetery has always been considered the property of the whole Catholic Community of Pittsfield and is overseen by a Cemetery Commission comprised of members from all four Pittsfield parishes. The Commission is responsible for long range planning to ensure the Cemetery meets the needs of area Catholics for many years to come. Members want to ensure the Cemetery maintains a beautiful appearance and that visits there are safe, peaceful and meaningful.

The daily operations of the cemetery are overseen by a Cemetery Superintendent and his staff. They work with bereaved families, sell burial plots, oversee burials and maintain the grounds, shrubs, trees and grave stones. A portion of the purchase price of each burial plot sold is placed in an endowment fund at the Diocese. Each year, interest earnings on this fund are returned to the cemetery to help cover operating costs. This fund helps guarantee perpetual care for the cemetery.

There are about 35,000 people buried in the cemetery. There were 254 burials in 2016. Of these, 154 were full body burials and 100, or 40%, were cremation burials. In 2010, there were 192 full body burials and 75 cremation burials. The increased number of cremations follows the national trend among Catholics and the general population.

   

Cemetery Commission


  • Msgr. Michael Shershanovich, Cemetery Director
  • Jack Laviolette, Chair - St. Joseph
  • Peter Lafayette - St. Joseph
  • Jayne Shogry - St. Joseph
  • Nelson Furlano, CPA, Treasurer
  • Chet Zaorski - St. Joseph
  • Mark Cancilla - St Charles
  • Rev. Christopher Fedoryshyn - St. Mark
  • Mary Ellen O’Connor - St. Mark
  • Mary Beth Eldridge - Sacred Heart
  • Paul Wendling - Construction Advisor
  • Michael Collins - Knights of Columbus Representative
  • Russell Sprague - Director, Diocesan Buildings and Grounds

ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL CHAPEL MAUSOLEUM

In response to the growing demand for above-ground burial space and a desire to provide for chapel services, St. Joseph Cemetery built a chapel mausoleum at the cemetery. Named in honor of St. Michael the Archangel, this beautiful facility has been designed not only to be an enduring monument to those who have passed, but also to be a peaceful and serene sanctuary for the grieving.

The mausoleum is constructed of reinforced concrete with beautiful granite facades. Its unique three-core design features a central chapel which provides a sheltered environment for committal services and visitation. Religiously significant murals lend to the peaceful and serene atmosphere where visitors are encouraged to linger in private prayer and meditation.

St. Michael the Archangel Chapel Mausoleum provides limited numbers of entombment crypts in both interior chapel and exterior locations. Cremation niches are also provided for the inurnment of cremated remains.

Cemetery Staff

guide1

Msgr. Michael Shershanovich

Director

guide3

Mark McKeever

Superintendent

guide4

Diana Dobbert-Bump

Office Manager

Cemetery Regulations

  • THESE REGULATIONS WERE DEVELOPED OVER TIME TO HELP ENSURE THE BEAUTY AND PROPER MAINTENANCE OF THE CEMETERY. WHILE LIVE FLOWERS AND PLANTS AND VARIOUS TYPES OF DECORATIONS HAVE BEEN ALLOWED IN THE PAST, UNFORTUNATELY THEY ARE OFTEN NOT MAINTAINED BY THE FAMILY. THIS GAVE THE CEMETERY A NEGLECTED APPEARANCE AND IMPOSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN PROPERLY.

  •  
  • CEMETERY GATES ARE OPEN FROM 8:00AM-8:00PM, MAY-SEPTEMBER
    AND FROM 8:00AM-4:00PM, OCTOBER-APRIL

  •  
  • NO PLANTING OF FLOWERS TREES OR SHRUBS. PRESENT SHRUBS MUST BE MAINTAINED BY LOT HOLDERS.

  •  
  • NO ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS DURING THE SPRING AND SUMMER MONTHS.

  •  
  • NO WOODEN CROSSES OR TEMPORARY MARKERS OF ANY KIND. ONLY CROSSES PLACED BY THE CEMETERY ARE ALLOWED.

  •  
  • NO VIGIL LIGHTS, SOLAR LIGHTS, SHEPHERD HOOKS, STATUES, GLASS CONTAINERS OR LOT ENCLOSURES OF ANY KIND.

  •  
  • TWO MOVABLE, PLAIN CONTAINERS OF LIVE FLOWERS WILL BE ALLOWED FROM MOTHER’S DAY TO LABOR DAY. CONTAINERS WITH PRONGS ON THE BOTTOM OR GLASS CONTAINERS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

  •  
  • WINTER DECORATIONS MAY BE PLACED ON LOTS FROM NOVEMBER 1ST TO APRIL 1ST. ONLY ONE WREATH OR FLOWER BOX PER LOT.

  •  
  • NO DECORATIONS ARE ALLOWED BETWEEN APRIL 1ST AND MOTHER’S DAY OR FROM LABOR DAY UNTIL NOVEMBER 1ST.

  •  
  • THE CEMETERY ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO FLOWER POTS OR OTHER CONTAINERS AND MAINTAINS THE RIGHT TO DISPOSE OF BROKEN OR UNSIGHTLY CONTAINERS AT ANY TIME.

  •  
  • DECORATIONS ARE NOT ALLOWED AT THE MAUSOLEUM. NOTHING MAY BE GLUED, MOUNTED, TAPED OR IN ANY WAY AFFIXED TO A CRYPT OR NICHE FRONT, NAME PLAQUE OR ANY PART OF THE WALLS. ANYTHING SO MOUNTED WILL BE REMOVED AND DISPOSED OF IMMEDIATELY.


Cemetery Maps

Click to Enlarge

Capital Campaign

St. Joseph Cemetery had for years, experienced major drainage and road problems especially in the upper section of the cemetery. This area was subject to flooding and icing and often caused problems during burials and visits in the winter and spring. The existing drain lines were found to be inadequate. There was not enough money in the annual operating budget to carry out the needed repairs.

 

The Cemetery Commission retained White Engineering of Pittsfield in 2017 to design a drainage and road improvement plan. The final plan included installing additional subsurface drain lines, cleaning out and resetting existing catch basins and installing additional catch basins. All cemetery roads were evaluated and rated based on condition. Some roads were severely deteriorated and needed complete reconstruction. Others needed to be milled and repaved. In 2017, the estimated cost to correct the drainage problems and rebuild or repave all existing blacktop roads was $1.8 million.

 

 

The Cemetery Commission conducted a feasibility study in all four Pittsfield parishes in 2017 and later voted to conduct a Capital Campaign to raise the funds needed to carry out the drainage and road work. The study estimated that $1.2 million could be raised A Campaign Steering Committee was established consisting of representatives from each parish. The campaign was launched in September 2018 and through the generosity of parishioners and friends and a large gift from the Diocese, it reached its $1.2 million goal in May 2019. Contributions have continued to arrive since then.


The drainage improvements were carried out and completed in fall 2019. More than 1700 feet of new subsurface drain lines were installed and some collapsed drain lines replaced. A total of 71 catch basins were cleaned out and 6 additional ones installed. The improved drainage system was evaluated in spring 2020 and judged to be working properly. Design work then took place for the road reconstruction and repaving work. As planned, the focus was to rebuild the worst roads in the upper section and to repave the main road from the cemetery entrance on Pecks Road to the top of the upper section. That work was carried out and completed in September 2020 with the contractor doing outstanding work. The new roads look beautiful. Cemetery users can now enjoy smooth riding and an end to the seasonal flooding that occurred in the past.


In addition to the drainage problems on the upper level, there was a serious flooding problem in the northeast corner of the lower level. But volunteers from the Knights of Columbus Council #103 stepped forward to address this problem. With loaned equipment, they cleared out an old 700-foot drainage ditch that had been blocked and not working for years. These volunteers and cemetery staff cleared brush, sediment, trees and debris and removed soil blockages at the outlet. They completed erosion control and seeding. This has eliminated much of the flooding in that area.





 

Click to Enlarge




Click to Enlarge

 

Remaining Work to the Done


As stated above, the estimated cost of carrying out the drainage work and road work was $1.8 million in 2017. But only $1.26 million was raised through the Campaign. While the drainage issues have been addressed and the roads in the worst condition have been repaved, many of the remaining roads are in fair condition and need attention in the near future.

 

The Cemetery Commission will continue to seek out additional donations to complete the remaining work. People wishing to make a one-time gift or donate over a several year period, should contact the Cemetery office at (413) 499-1317 or mail a check to:



St. Joseph Cemetery Capital Campaign

222 Pecks Rd

Pittsfield, MA 01201



People can also give appreciated securities, such as stocks and bonds. These are wonderful options because they have important tax advantages for the donor. Contact the Cemetery office at (413) 499-1317 for details.

 

All gifts are tax deductible as provided by law. Donors will be provided with an end-of-year statement of the actual cash contributions for each year.





 

 

Locate Us

Contact

Email:

stjoecem@verizon.net

Address:

222 Pecks Road

Pittsfield, MA

01201



Phone:

413 499-1317

© 2018 St. Joseph Cemetery. All rights reserved.