PORTLAND — Bishop Robert Deeley has announced that the Diocese of Portland will reassume management oversight of seven diocesan cemeteries and four other parish cemeteries, effective Jan. 1, 2022. The diocese will continue to collaborate with parishes in the operation of more than 60 other cemeteries across the state.

In 2017, the diocese entered into a management services contract with Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services, which has provided business planning and professional services in an effort to revitalize cemetery operations.

Jessica Letendre, who  serves as director of cemeteries for the Diocese of Portland, will remain in that role during and after the transition.

“The diocese wishes to offer its appreciation for the expertise and resources that CFCS has shared over these past four years,” said Deeley, according to a news release from the diocese. “We are grateful for their assistance in helping us recognize new ways in which to serve the Catholic community through our cemetery ministry, better reflecting our call to bury the dead and comfort the sorrowful. Our cemeteries are now running smoothly and appear to be well positioned for the years to come.”

“Our focus will continue to be on the perpetual maintenance and promotion of these sacred places as extensions of each local parish,” said Scott Graff, chief financial officer of the Diocese of Portland. “We are overjoyed that Jessica has agreed to stay on in her position, where she has excelled since arriving.”

Within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, there are 65 Catholic cemeteries, including the seven diocesan-operated cemeteries: Calvary Cemetery in South Portland, Holy Cross Cemetery in Yarmouth, Notre Dame Cemetery in Springvale, St. Ignatius Cemetery in Sanford, St. Joseph and St. Mary cemeteries in Biddeford, and St. Peter Cemetery in Lewiston. The diocese will also maintain management oversight at four parish cemeteries: Mount Hope Cemetery in Lewiston, St. Anne Cemetery in Lisbon, and Mount Calvary and Ss. Cyril & Methodius cemeteries in Lisbon Falls.

For more information, visit portlanddiocese.org.

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