St Mary Nativity Cemetery, Lockport
About St Mary Nativity Cemetery, Lockport
St. Mary Nativity Cemetery was created in 1906 by a group of men of Croatian descent. It was originally named St. Mary Croatian Cemetery after its parent church.
Since the Croatian language was prevalent at that time, Rev. George Violic was imported from Croatia to serve the people of his nationality.
After his arrival, the committee, formed by the founders, transferred the records to the parish office where they had been maintained until 1986 at which time the operation of the cemetery was undertaken by the Diocese of Joliet. Father Violic died in 1939.
At the northwest corner of the cemetery located on Caton Farm Road, a small parcel was developed into single graves to accommodate the early settlers.
As the parish grew, more sections were developed comprising ten acres of which six are open for burials. Each lot consisted of eight graves at $15.00. In later years, the price of a lot increased to $25.00.
Since there was more than ample space between graves, in 1947, the lots were converted to twelve graves without added cost to the lot holders by Rev. A. Sinsky, the successor of Father Violic.
When the people of Serbian extraction settled in Joliet, they were in need of a cemetery. Unable to finance such a project, a small parcel of the cemetery was granted to them to satisfy their burial needs. In order to differentiate the Serbian section from the rest of the cemetery sections, bushes were planted around the area. It was required at that time by the Catholic Church to separate the Catholic sections from the Orthodox which was unconsecrated.