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St. Bernard Abbey Columbaria

A sacred space for cremated remains

What is a Columbarium?

A columbarium is a sacred place where the cremated remains of the faithful departed are kept in niches. The word comes from the Latin for dove, as it originally referred to a place for doves and pigeons. A columbarium can be located inside or outside a building, and can have different levels and designs for the urns. At St. Bernard Abbey, the columbarium is a beautiful outdoor structure situated on the abbey grounds near the Ave Maria Grotto. It is a peaceful and prayerful place where the monks and their loved ones can rest in hope of the resurrection.

Why Choose a Columbarium?

A columbarium offers a dignified and respectful way of honoring your loved ones who have chosen cremation. It allows you to visit their final resting place and pay your respects in a serene and beautiful setting. A columbarium also saves space and resources compared to traditional burial, and can be more affordable and convenient for families.


St. Bernard Abbey Columbarium

At St. Bernard Abbey, we offer wooden columbarium boxes for our graveyard chapel, which has a storage space for them there. Our columbarium boxes are made of high-quality wood and engraved with the name and dates of the deceased. They can accommodate one or two urns, depending on your preference. Our graveyard chapel is a sacred and peaceful place where you can pray and reflect on the lives of your loved ones. We also provide regular masses and services for the souls of the departed.

How to Purchase a Columbarium Box

If you are interested in purchasing a columbarium box at St. Bernard Abbey, please contact the Abbey Business Office at We will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have. The price of a columbarium box includes the box itself, the engraving, the perpetual care of the chapel, and a donation to the abbey. You can also choose to pre-purchase a columbarium box for yourself or your family members.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions and answers about our columbarium service:

Q: Can I choose the location of my columbarium box in the chapel?

A: Yes, you can choose from the available niches in the chapel. We will show you a map of the chapel and let you select your preferred spot.

Q: Can I bring flowers or other items to decorate my columbarium box?

A: Yes, you can bring fresh flowers or other small items to place on or near your columbarium box. However, please note that we may remove them after a certain period of time to keep the chapel clean and orderly.

Q: Can I transfer my columbarium box to another location or cemetery?

A: No, once you purchase a columbarium box at St. Bernard Abbey, it becomes a permanent part of our chapel and cannot be moved or transferred.

Q: What happens if the chapel is damaged or destroyed by natural disasters or other causes?

A: In the unlikely event that the chapel is damaged or destroyed, we will do our best to recover and restore the columbarium boxes and urns. We will also inform you of any updates or changes regarding the situation.

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