Each month, a reflection on the various aspects of St Joseph's life and character will be uploaded to this page.
Each reflection can be shared and reproduced with appropriate attribution to the author of the reflection.
Monthly Reflection Author
January 2021 Archbishop Mark Coleridge
February 2021 Sr Michele Connolly rsj
March 2021 Mr Robert Falzon
April 2021 Michelle Vass
May 2021 Bishop Vincent Long van Nguyen OFM Conv
June 2021 Fr Khalid Marogi
July 2021 Fr Robert Krishna OP
August 2021 Lara Kirk
September 2021 Robyn Rodwell
October 2021 Bishop Greg Homeming OCD
November 2021 Fr Paul Nulley
December 2021 Sr Maria Casey RSJ

What is a Columbarium


The word “columbarium” is derived from the Latin word for “dove” (columba), the bird of peace and a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

It is a structure composed of many niches to permit the interment of the ashes of those who have been cremated.

The Cathedral Columbarium


The Cathedral Columbarium has been established by the Diocese of Geraldton to serve the growing need for a place of dignity where the ashes of cremated loved ones can be interred.

The Cathedral Columbarium is a contemplative place set within the magnificent St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral Precinct and integrated into a garden of Midwest flora. It is a place where grief and loss are healed and hope restored, and where the lives of loved ones can be celebrated and honoured.

For people of faith, the Cathedral Columbarium is a final resting place in the presence of the faith community that was central to their lives and those of their children and grandchildren.

Catholics, Cremations & Columbariums


In 1963, the Church lifted the prohibition of Catholics being cremated. Since then the choice of cremation has notably increased and parishes have responded by providing places often near the parish church where the ashes of loved ones can be interred. This follows the tradition of people being interred near the parish church where their remains can be honoured within the Faith Community in which the deceased lived and worshipped.

The Church says that “. . . the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority.” (Ad resurgendum cum Christo, 1016, #5)

By treating the body with dignity in death the Church expresses her belief in the resurrection. When human ashes are interred in a columbarium in the environs of their Church, their proximity to the worshipping community aids the belief that there is a relationship between the living and the dead expressed through memory and prayer.

Practical Matters


How much for a niche in the Columbarium?

The standard cost is $1580 [GST inclusive]. This includes the niche, a standard design and size engraved stone memorial plaque, a niche container for the ashes (called a cinerary urn) of your loved one to be placed in and an administration fee. If you want a photo ceramic attached to the memorial plaque there is an extra charge.

Can niches be purchased in advance?

Yes, niches can be purchased in advance. Couples or families may like to purchase several so that the ashes of family members can be interred in immediate proximity to each other. In the case of advance niche purchase, the cost of the stone memorial plaque and cinerary urn will be charged at the time of interment of the ashes as these costs will vary over time.

Are there other costs?

If you wish to have a religious interment ceremony requiring the services of a priest, there will be an extra fee payable to the parish at the time of interment. This fee helps pay the yearly stipend of the parish clergy.

Cathedral Columbarium Location


Located in the Precinct of the world renowned Monsignor John Cyril Hawes designed St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Geraldton, the Cathedral Columbarium offers a dignified place where the ashes of your beloved can be interred and where they can be remembered and honored into the future.

Niches can be purchased in advance.

Further Information


Copies of the Columbarium Terms and Conditions and Columbarium Application Forms are available at the Bishop’s House, 7 Maitland Street, Geraldton, WA

Contact:

Cathedral Columbarium
Diocesan Office
PO Box 46
GERALDTON WA 6531

Phone: (08) 992 13221
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The Diocesan Office and Catholic Development Fund

will close for the Christmas break
12.30pm Thursday 23rd December.

Re-opening 8.30am Tuesday
4th of January 2022.

The Diocesan Chancery Office

7 Maitland Street Geraldton WA 6530
Ph:   08 9921 3221
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Postal Address:
PO Box 46 Geraldton WA 6531

Bishop of Geraldton
Most Rev. Michael H. Morrissey
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Bishop's Secretary

Mrs Helen Long
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Bishop  Emeritus of Geraldton
Most Rev. Justin J. Bianchini
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Vicar General
Fr Brian Ahearn V.G.
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Chancellor
Fr Robert Cross
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Financial Administrator
Mrs Trish Rogers
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Council of Priests
Secretary - Fr Robert Cross
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Welcome
As a Diocese, we aim to be welcoming, missionary, centred on Christ, with each striving to live one's particular vocation. It is in living out our calling that we praise God, follow Christ, influence society and achieve the goal of eternal life won for us by Christ.

The archives of the Diocese of Geraldton is a private Archive and access by individuals is ordinarily not available.

Academic researchers may request access to the Archives by completing this Archive Access Form.

This archives can fulfill search requests regarding Baptismal, Confirmation and Marriage records for deceased family members. The archives only have limited death records. Burial or graveyard information are often available through Shires or Cemetery Boards.  We do not conduct family research.

Search Fee (incl. GST):

  • Search request $33 per hour. The first $33 must be paid when submitting your 'Archives Search Request Form'.
  • If the search is to extend beyond one hour you will be contacted for a further payment.

PLEASE NOTE: There are no charges for search requests relating to persons requesting their sacramental records in order to receive other Sacraments (e.g. Marriage) or to be enrolled in a Catholic school.

Enquiries:
 Fr Robert Cross
+61 8 9921 3221
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altJohn Cyril Hawes was born September 7th, 1876 in Richmond, England.

In his early life and schooling at Kings School in Canterby John Hawes is described as a quiet but effective student. It was evident he had a flair for visual art and in 1893 upon completing his schooling Hawes commenced an architectural apprenticeship in a London commercial architect firm. During this time he also learned several other art forms including sculpture and stained glasswork.

John Hawes life and work as an architect and within the Christian faiths were always entwined. One of his first commissions was an Anglican Church in Northumberland. It was through this project that Hawes came to study for the priesthood and in 1903 he was ordained as an Anglican Deacon in St Pauls Cathedral, London.

At the age of thirty two Hawes commenced a short period of missionary work in the Bahamas where, in addition to acting as a minister, he was charged with the task of repairing several hurricane damaged churches.

Struggling with personal conflict over his religious direction, Hawes left the Bahamas after just one year and began his journey with Catholicism. Hawes converted to Catholicism in New York in 1911. Just four years later he was ordained a Catholic Priest in Rome.

The most productive architectural period of his life was spent in the Mid West of Western Australia in the first half of the 20th century. Hawes arrived in Western Australia at the beginning of November 1915. He spent his first summer in the Murchison travelling first to cue in the very hottest part of the year. In a letter home to England he described the climate as far too hot to do anything except flop around struggling to exist.

The following year he was recalled to Geraldton to begin work on St Francis Xavier Cathedral. The first stage of the cathedral was completed in 1918 but following the death of Bishop Kelly work was halted. Work did not recommence until 1926 and it was another twelve years before the magnificent cathedral was completed an officially opened.

During his time in the Mid West, Hawes was responsible for an astounding body of work throughout the region. His creations ranged from basic corrugated iron structures like St Patricks church in Wonthella Geraldton, to the unique design of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in Mullewa or the grand structure of Nazareth House Convent perched on the edge of Champion Bay in Geraldton. There is little doubt that Hawes work in the region has contributed, and will continue to contribute to the vibrancy of the local build landscape.

He designed a small cottage, the hermitage, adjacent to the new St John of God Hospital in Geraldton. Hawes declared the building, completed in 1936, was to be his retirement home. However, in 1939 Monsignor Hawes left for Cat Island in the Bahamas, never to return. He lived out his life as a hermit, and died on June 26th, 1956 in Miami, Florida aged 79.

For more information on Monsignor Hawes visit the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Website: 


An interesting article about Monsignore Hawes
was written by Sylvia Endacot

Subcategories

The Sower is the Diocesan publication chronicling the history of the Diocese.
It is published four times a year- Easter, Winter, Spring and Christmas.

Editor – Fr Gerard Totanes
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