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22 parishes open cemetery funds with Catholic Foundation for better investment strategy,
future income, financial stability

With the aging population of our parishes, a former diocesan Finance Director keenly observed that pastors, like himself now, are sadly, presiding over more funerals than baptisms. The increase in burials has created more activity at parish cemeteries and raised the issue of long-term maintenance cost for parishioners’ final resting place.

“Pastors need to work quickly and diligently towards fully funding their cemetery perpetual care funds before
all open grave sites
are sold,” Monsignor John Martin, pastor of St. Peter Parish in Coplay, shared
in a letter to fellow pastors
who manage a parish
cemetery.

Thirteen pastors heeded Monsignor Martin’s advice and opened cemetery funds with the Catholic Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania in 2020. The Catholic Foundation now manages 22 cemetery funds.

Cemeteries in Pennsylvania are required by law to set aside a portion of the sale of burial plots in a perpetual care account to cover the long-term maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery. 



“We have a fiscal and moral responsibility to properly manage and steward the finances of our parish and institutions,” said Monsignor Martin, who served in the Diocese’s Financial Office from 1974-1999.  “This includes our parish cemeteries.”

St. Peter in Coplay opened the first cemetery fund with the Catholic Foundation in 2018. St. Peter Parish also has an education scholarship endowment fund with the Foundation.

"I am glad to lean on the financial expertise of the Catholic Foundation,” Msgr. Martin said. “I share their long-term view and was pleased with how they guided us through the challenging period brought on by the pandemic. We have seen solid increases in our fund.”   

Rev. Patrick Lamb, pastor at Queenship of Mary Parish in Northampton, shares Msgr. Martin’s belief that the Catholic Foundation is the best option for parishes to invest and manage perpetual care cemetery funds.

“In the short time we have been involved with the Catholic Foundation, we have seen solid growth in our cemetery fund,” Father Lamb said.  “It was a good financial decision to have the Catholic Foundation manage these assets.”

With an annual return target of 7%, the Catholic Foundation's portfolio finished a challenging 2020 year up 12.7%.  Its investment return is up 18.4% so far for the fiscal year 2020-2021. 

As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, independent from the Diocese, the Catholic Foundation manages endowment and donor designated funds to generate perpetual income and provide financial stability for parishes, schools, and non-profits. Currently, the Catholic Foundation manages more than $20 million in 79 funds including 22 cemetery funds. 


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have placed their faith and trust in the professional management
and marketing support of the Catholic Foundation.


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The Catholic Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania is an independent, 501(c)3 charitable
organization designed to manage assets, generate perpetual income and provide financial
stability for Catholic parishes, schools and ministries.
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