St. Joseph Church Cemetery

The cemetery for St. Joseph Church is Holy Cross Cemetery and is located on Cemetery Hill in Gowanda, NY. The cemetery was established in 1884 when Peter Rink donated $200.00 to buy one acre of land. Today there are many grave sites located in what is referred to as the “Old Cemetery” and the “New Cemetery”. At this time, there are graves available to purchase only in the “New Cemetery”.

For more information on purchasing a grave, please contact the church rectory at 532-5100.

Rules and Regulations

  1. The purchaser of a lot in the cemetery does not acquire the property itself, only the right of burial (easement).
  2. Upon the death of the grave owner (purchaser) the right of burial passes to the next of kin.
  3. No burial will be permitted in the cemetery until the grave and opening are paid in full and a permit has been obtained from the proper municipal authority.
  4. All burials shall require a vault/grave liner or urn.
  5. A maximum of one internment and one cremain or two cremains will be permitted in a single grave. No monument/marker can be placed until the grave is paid in full.
  6. All monuments/markers shall be installed by cemetery personnel or designated contractors.
  7. All foundations for monuments/markers shall be installed by cemetery personnel or designated contractors.
  8. The care of all monuments and foundations remains the responsibility of the lot owner. Problems over time with the foundation or vandalism to a monument are the direct responsibility of the lot owner. If not corrected and there is danger to visitors or cemetery personnel, the monument will be laid flat on the grave.
  9. Government markers will not be installed until the foundation has been paid in full.
  10. All maintenance in the cemetery shall be done by cemetery personnel or designated contractor.
  11. Cemetery hours shall be from Dawn to Dusk.
  12. In keeping with the cemetery being a sacred resting place for our departed family members, it may not be used as a playground of other athletic activities.


Generally, guidelines for decorations are intended to maintain the beauty and uniformity of the cemetery appearance. It is important for lot owners, family, friends and visitors to note some regulations to address safety issues and other issues needed for proper maintenance.

  1. Between May 1 and October 1, one pot of flowers will be permitted on each side of the monument (never in front of the monument). All pots must be placed on top of the ground and be 10-12 inches in diameter. Pots not removed by October 1 will be removed and disposed of by cemetery personnel.
  2. Artificial decorations mounted on upright supports made of wire, wood or plastic that stand above the ground, are not permitted except for wreaths which are permitted only during the winter season (November 1-April 17). After such time, if not removed by the family, they are subject to removal by cemetery personnel.
  3. No tin cans, jars or glass containers are allowed.
  4. Cut flowers, may be placed within urns that are located on the sides of the monument.
  5. The urns must be placed on a concrete foundation on either side of the monument (never in front.)
  6. In ground planting (trees, shrubs, plants, annuals, ground cover) shells, chips and gravel are not permitted.
  7. Due to possible safety hazards, no chairs, trellises, fences, toys, glass, plastic or metal ornaments, statues are permitted.
  8. The cemetery reserves the right to remove decorations that have deteriorated, along with decorations that do not conform to these guidelines.