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Friends of the Catholic Cemetery

Article and Photos by Amy Walker

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The freshly manicured, rolling grounds of Mobile’s historic Catholic Cemetery today contrast dramatically with the scene a decade ago, when the oldest section of graves was overgrown with weeds and grass as tall as thriving corn.

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Catholic Cemetery, formerly known as Stone Street Cemetery, was established in 1848 by Bishop Michael Portier (although some graves date as far as 1813). Additional acreage was added in 1866, 1903, 1910, 1921, and 1948, including a mausoleum. The 150 acre cemetery with over 18,000 graves, which includes the graves of Admiral Raphael Semmes and Father Abram Joseph Ryan, was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1991, and had a historic marker dedication only recently, on December 19th, 2009.

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Starting in 1848, the cemetery was purchased in three sections in what was then rural Toulminville. As Mobile expanded westward, Catholic Cemetery became isolated from these growth areas. Declining revenues and other factors restricted its upkeep. Facing further decline, Friends of Catholic Cemetery formed in 2006 to revitalize this active cemetery to honor past dead and our newly deceased. Burial lots are available in the cemetery’s newer section.

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Friends of the Catholic Cemetery is an Association of the Faithful that is restoring and maintaining Mobile Catholic Cemetery. FOCC operates not-for-profit under the Archdiocese of Mobile. Our IRS 501 (c)(3) status makes all dues or donations to us tax deductible.

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FOCC has made solid progress and needs your continued support. With the Archdiocese’s cooperation, we are preserving this sacred group to honor our beloved dead including many priests, nuns and brothers who devoted their lives to serve us at the alter, in the schools, hospitals, and homes for the aged and poor.

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In 2008, a new front gate was installed and the carriage gates were restored. Seven-foot wide perimeter fence sections with a dedication plaque are now available. For more information on supporting the fence project, please contact Michelle Mayberry at m_mayberry@bellsouth.net.

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Your are invited to join us to concretely show that our Catholic respect for life literally extends from the womb to the grave. Annual dues are just $25.00 per family. Membership is not limited to Catholics. We invite all people and groups including those interested from a civic or historic perspective.

Contact Amy Walker, amyr_74@yahoo.com for more information.
Visit and download membership form at http://www.MobileArchdiocese.org/CatholicCemetery

You can send Annual dues to:
FOCC
POB 40716
Mobile, Alabama 36640

Please visit/join us on Facebook!
http://www.Facebook/FriendsofCatholicCemetery.com


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