Saint Patricks Cemetery, Joliet
About Saint Patricks Cemetery, Joliet
The history of Catholic Cemeteries in the Joliet area closely parallels the history of the original Diocese of Chicago. In 1838, six years before the creation of the Diocese of Chicago, Father Francis Plunket, assigned as pastor and missionary to the Joliet region, founded St. Patrick’s parish and began, with his flock, the construction of the parish church. In 1849, Bishop James Van De Velde, second Ordinary of Chicago, received of John Belz of Joliet, a deed to the land now comprising St. Patrick’s Cemetery, to be used “as a Burial Ground for the Catholic population of Joliet in Will County and its vicinity.”
From its very beginning, the St. Patrick’s Cemetery has been a “Diocesan Cemetery.”
This was not the case with other cemeteries that are now under the jurisdiction of the Diocese, as such. Mt. Olivet Cemetery was formerly the parish cemetery for St. Mary’s founded in 1868. Though records indicate the purchase of the first parcel of land for Mt. Olivet Cemetery did not take place till 1887, the first burial there seems to have taken place in 1863. Subsequent purchases of land were made as needed. In 1934, the Archdiocese of Chicago was asked to undertake the administration of Mt. Olivet Cemetery, by which fact it then became officially a Diocesan Cemetery.
Shortly after the creation of the Diocese of Joliet in 1948, St. Patrick’s and Mt. Olivet cemeteries became the nucleus for a new system of diocesan cemeteries under the direction of the Rev. A. Sinsky. Several new cemeteries were planned; land for two such has been purchased: one on Rt. 66A, seven miles north of Joliet, intended to serve Joliet and the Lockport Township area, the other on Finley Rd. in DuPage County to serve the suburban area radiating from Lombard.
A unique feature of the Diocesan Cemetery plan is the “Central Labor Pool” by which a basic crew operating from Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Joliet is able to serve not only the official diocesan cemeteries but also provide basic services in the following parish cemeteries:
S.S. Cyril & Methodius, St. Patrick’s, St. Mary Nativity, SS. Peter & Paul, Naperville, St. Mary’s, Minooka, and Mt. Olivet in Braidwood.