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North Coast Catholic

Diocese of Santa Rosa

Monthly Newsletter

North Coast Catholic is the official voice of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. Its mission is to serve as a vehicle for the bishop to "speak" with the people of the diocese and for the community of faithful to communicate with and amongst one another.

The publication appears monthly, in a 16-page magazine format. Its focus is to provide readers with information, ideas and inspiration that can forward both the growth and development of faith, and their responsible and active participation in the ministries and governance of the Church.

Each issue is loosely organized around a central theme, which often corresponds to a timely event or season of the liturgical year. The theme is chosen to expand our understanding and awareness of the various works, teachings and ministries of the diocese and the Church as a whole.



Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery is home to many wine families

September 29, 2012

The September 29 issue of Napa Valley Register and St. Helena Star, featured a story about the 10th Annual Spirits of St. Helena Cemetery Discovery Walk. Click these links to read the article and watch the video online Napa Valley Register   St. Helena Star



Avenue of the Flags - Memorial Day in Santa Rosa

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2011 -  Each Year on Memorial Day Mass is celebrated at three of our four cemeteries.  Mass in Santa Rosa is at 10 A.M. in the Chapel.  In Petaluma, Mass is held in the Mausoleum at 10 A.M..  In Saint Helena, Mass is celebrated in the Chapel at 9 A.M.   Each Mass is followed by a reception.

Flags are placed on the graves of veterans at Santa Rosa, Petaluma and St. Helena for Memorial Day.  In Santa Rosa, the Knights of Columbus provide beautiful American Flags winding up the hill to create a stunning and very inspirational Avenue of the Flags.

Please join us annually for Mass and the reception or at least a visit to one of our cemeteries as we honor our beloved deceased for Memorial Day.

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Catholic Cemeteries - Then and Now

April, 2012

The April Issue of North Coast Catholic, the Magazine of the Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa, features an article about Catholic Cemeteries.  Click here to read the article online.  OR, click here to view, print or save a pdf copy of the article.



Veterans honored each year at Petaluma's Catholic Cemetery



Published: Friday, May 27, 2011 at 3:15 p.m


The Memorial Day tradition of marking veterans' graves with United States flags was first observed on May 30, 1868, when the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery were marked with flowers on “Decoration Day.”

It wasn't until the 1990s, though, that Petaluma's Calvary Cemetery joined in the tradition, thanks to Italian restaurant owner and accordionist Sylvia Volpi.

For 15 years, Volpi hand placed the annual flags, honoring mostly the veterans of the

First and Second World Wars and the Vietnam conflict, but adding to her list whenever informed of a veteran's identity.

How did she get started, you ask? With a simple question.

“One of the commanders of the VFW was a customer at Volpi's restaurant, and one day I asked him, ‘Why does the Protestant cemetery have flags for all the veterans and the Catholic cemetery  doesn't?”

He replied that as far as he knew no one had ever volunteered. So Volpi did.

“There was nothing in the official records in terms of a map,” she recalls. “I combed the cemetery, I read every tombstone, and I made a map and list of veterans' graves,” she says. “The Veterans of Foreign Wars gave me the flags, and I put them up.”

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BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat Debbie Foged, a family services advisor at Calvary Cemetery, will be taking over the job of placing flags on veterans' graves for Memorial Day. Photo taken in Petaluma, California on Tuesday, May 24, 2011.


click to read full article online

click for printable version



All Souls' Day Mass

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012 -  All Souls' Day Mass and Receptions were held at three of our cemeteries:  Santa Rosa, Petaluma and St. Helena.  The Church celebrated the Feast of All Souls, a day set-aside by religious tradition to honor and pray for our loved ones “who have gone before us, marked with the sign of Faith.” 

The Department of Cemeteries wishes to invite all of those who have loved ones entrusted to our care, to join us annually on All Souls' Day for the celebration with a special Mass followed by a reception. 

For more information, call 707-546-6290.

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Spanish Mass at Calvary Cemetery Santa Rosa



Calvary Cemetery in Santa Rosa

Completed in 2011


There are two new lawn areas created in the western area at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Santa Rosa.  One area is Our Lady of Peace Lawn and the other is Our Lady of Guadalupe Lawn.  The new lawns have pre-buried vaults installed.  Construction began July 12, 2011. 
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St. Francis Solano Cemetery in Sonoma

New Ornamental Iron Fence


Our Saint Francis Solano Cemetery in Sonoma has a beautiful new fence thanks to the support of Father Michael Kelly and the generosity of the Saint Francis Solano parishioners who donated almost $12,000 to make this a reality.  The unsightly thicket of bushes was removed and replaced with an attractive ornamental iron fence (photos below, click to enlarge).

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Sonoma - hedge before new fence

Sonoma - new fence replacing the hedge











Calvary Cemetery in Petaluma

New Urn Garden


A new Urn Garden is in the process of being developed at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Petaluma on the west side near the entrance.  In response to the growing demand for a resting place for cremated remains, the current areas are being used and the new area will provide options for single, companion, and family areas.  The urn garden will be called Our Lady of Fatima.  In addition to ground burial, there are additional above ground urn spaces being planned for future need.  An additional mausoleum is also in the planning stages for Petaluma.  Follow our progress as construction continues. We will post new photos to document the transformation. 

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Site for future Urn Garden

Urn Garden construction begins

7-12-11  Urn Garden construction continues

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7-26-11  foundation for monuments going in

9-2-11  future equipment access

9-2-11  foundation

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10-14-11  foundation for monuments









Catholic Cemeteries - Diocese of Santa Rosa ~ PO Box 2098 ~ Santa Rosa, CA  95405
www.catholiccemeteries-dsr.org ©2009