Cemetery of the Holy Rood

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The Cemetery of the Holy Rood is a Roman Catholic cemetery located in Westbury, New York. The 65-acre (0.26 km2) cemetery, established in 1930, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre.


In the 1930s, the then-Diocese of Brooklyn established a 65-acre (260,000 m2) cemetery named for the Holy Rood. The grounds of the cemetery are considered part of the greater Hempstead Plains. In 1956, with the creation of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Holy Rood Cemetery's jurisdiction was transferred to the newly formed diocese. The cemetery also contains the burial grounds of Saint Brigid's Cemetery (formerly a part of Saint Brigid's Roman Catholic Church), a cemetery founded in 1856 that was eventually absorbed into the assets-management of Cemetery of the Holy Rood or Catholic Cemeteries.[1]

In 1998, the Diocese of Rockville Centre caused a certain amount of controversy when it announced that mementos and toys could no longer be left on children's graves. Even though leaving such items on graves was always in violation of cemetery rules, officials had previously turned a blind eye to the practice in the children's section.[2]

On March 1, 2016 the Diocese created a new corporation, Catholic Cemeteries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, Inc. On September 1, 2017 the assets of the former corporation were delivered to the new corporation along with the staff members entering the corporation on January 1, 2018. In February 2018 the newly formed corporation received its first appointed President Richard Bie.

The Island of Hope

The cemetery contains a triangular grassy area called "The Island of Hope" for the burials of abandoned babies, nearly all of whom are the victims of neonaticide. It is owned by the Children of Hope Foundation, founded by Tim Jaccard, an ambulance medical technician with the Nassau County Police, to pay for funerals and marked graves for abandoned babies and children. As of 2007, 88 children were buried there.[3][4]

Notable burials


  1. ^ Richard Panchyk, History of Westbury, Long Island, The History Press, 2007, p. 133. ISBN 1-59629-213-X
  2. ^ David Winzelber, "Cemetery Bans Mementos on Child Graves", The New York Times, November 22, 1998. See also: Howard Mansfield, The Bones of the Earth, Shoemaker Hoard, 2004, p. 54. ISBN 1-59376-040-X
  3. ^ Richard, Weir, "Names, dignity & hope"[permanent dead link], New York Daily News, March 5, 2007
  4. ^ Peter Applebome, "A Resting Place Incongruously Called Hope", The New York Times, March 8, 2006
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Find A Grave - Cemetery of the Holy Rood". Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  7. ^ a b David Winzelberg, "From Here to Eternity: Choice Burial Sites", The New York Times, November 14, 1999
  8. ^ https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/57727273

External links

  • Holy Rood Cemetery official site

Coordinates: 40°45′03″N 73°35′04″W / 40.75083°N 73.58444°W / 40.75083; -73.58444

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