PORTLAND — The Diocese of Portland has announced that it has signed a management services contract with Catholic Management Services (CMS), a nonprofit organization specializing in providing strategic business planning and professional services to revitalize cemetery operations.

The diocese owns and operates two diocesan cemeteries, St. Peter’s Cemetery in Lewiston and Calvary Cemetery in South Portland, and more than 75 parish cemeteries.

All cemeteries will continue to be owned by the diocese, and cemetery staff will remain employees of the diocese, but will be under the supervision of CMS. The diocese will establish a new diocesan cemetery organization through which CMS will initially manage the two diocesan cemeteries and three parish cemeteries.

For the past several months, CMS has been providing an interim cemetery manager at Calvary Cemetery. As goals and budgets are developed in the coming months, a new director of cemeteries will be hired and trained.

“In partnering with the Diocese of Portland, CMS is excited to help further the sacred ministry of their Catholic cemeteries,” said Robert Seelig, CEO of CMS. “With changes in burial customs that include a significant increase in cremation, the Catholic Church serves a vital role in supporting families as they make difficult decisions at the time of death. With a focus on outreach and education, we will work with funeral directors and parishes to enhance this important ministry for current parishioners and those looking to reconnect with the Church.”

CMS is operated under the Diocese of Oakland and headquartered in Pleasanton, California.

FMI: 207-321-7810, [email protected]

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