Non-Traditional Methods of Disposition │ Body Donation and Burial at Sea

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc.

It’s great to have you back. For this edition, last time we talked about final disposition, we talked about cremation, traditional body, and really what just in general final disposition is. I want to answer two questions that are fairly common I get.

One is, can I donate my body to science? And then the second question is, can we bury at sea?

And the answer to both is yes with some conditions and so, talk about both of them and start with can I donate my body to science?

Yes, but we want to ground ourselves in the overriding premise that that that is grounding for everything we do with the human body and that is stated in catechism paragraph 2300 that says:

“The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity in faith and hope of the resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy. It honors the children of god who are temples of a Holy Spirit.”

So the bottom line in everything we do, everything we talk about the treatment of the body. We’re talking about respecting it as children of the God of God and as a temple of the Holy Spirit. And so you need to look at it within that.

So then the question becomes can I have an autopsy? Can I donate my body to science? And the answer to that is yes. Paragraph two thousand three hundred and one says:

“Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal and or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritous”

And so not only is it a legitimate to do but it’s also something meritous to do to allow somebody else to have life from your research on your body or from donating the organs. Now, there’s a couple things that you gotta think about when donating a body to science and there’s two things I want you to consider.

One is that in donating a body to science, the research that’s being done under the use of the body and those parts needs to be done legally and morally. So, you don’t want to donate your body to science to research things that go against the Catholic church’s teachings or things that might go again be utilized to, for instance, promote the culture of death and so, we want to make sure that the research is legitimate is legal and also is going for a morally good purpose.

The second part of it is just like with any human body, we want to inter that body and whatever is left in a cemetery and so after the body is utilized for research, whatever is left is needs to be gathered back together and brought back to the family for a final disposition of burial or cremation and so yes, you can donate the science for legitimate, legal, and moral purposes and then, also at the same point in time with the intention of having that body brought back either cremated or traditional body burial for interment in a cemetery.

So, that’s the first question about can we donate Science. The other not so typical final disposition is burial at sea and yes, in Colorado, we don’t have the sea near us so we don’t see that many burials at sea but if you’re by the coast, you’re probably going to see more people wanting burials at sea.

Now, the first piece about the burial at sea is that it’s not normative. It’s not the normal disposition of the body but it can be utilized when it is necessary as what the different documents of the church has said is that it’s not normal but at the same point in time can be utilized as necessary and there’s nothing in cannon law that prevents the proper disposition of the final body as burial at sea.

Now, there is a couple conditions upon it. One, is that the body or the cremated remains must be buried at sea altogether. So, you can’t go out of your boat and you can’t go out of the boat and start splashing ashes all over the place. You take those cremated remains, you put them in a urn, you weight them down, and you bury them at sea all intact and the same thing with the human body.

The body needs to be placed in an appropriate container casket weighted down so that it’s buried and floats to the bottom and that it is buried as a whole body. The other piece is not church related is the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency has regulations about this.

For instance, you’re not allowed to do a burial at sea within three nautical miles I think it is of regulations as to what is allowed and permanent. The final thing I would tell you is check with your local diocese.

So, if you live in Florida, check with the diocese there. The bishop does have the authority to say this is what we’re going to do with regard to buried sea cremation all that kind of stuff. You’ll always want to check with your local diocese ‘cuz what happens here in Denver may be very different than what happens in Miami and so you do want to check there but the bottom line, Canon Law, nothing preventing burial at sea.

Donating your body to research is permitted and actually can be seen as a meritous type of thing for you to do. Next week, we’re going to talk an exhibition.

We’re going to talk about what are those things that are non options, what can’t we do, and why can’t we do them? With that, this is Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

Make it a great day.

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What to Consider When Planning Your Cemetery Needs │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello, welcome to Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

We’re going to continue our conversation about pre-planning and we talked about the fact that there’s several areas to do pre-planning and that there’s a funeral home side of things, the cemetery side of things, and the church side of things.

Today, I want to talk about the cemetery side of things and give you some questions to begin to start to think about but in the end, I’m going to talk to you about the fact that it really helps to have a specialist to work through with you in the cemetery but there’s things that you can start thinking about so that you are prepared when you come to the specialist to help you out. So, when you’re thinking about cemetery.

The first real question, you have to with all of this is, do I want to be cremated or do I want a traditional burial and that is absolutely fundamental to it because that then guides all your other questions.

Once you decide that, then, let’s talk about cemetery and let’s assume that you are looking at a traditional burial and most of this, actually, all this will apply to cremation but just for a conversational talk traditional burial.

The next question that you have to answer is, do I want to be above ground or below ground? For both cremation and traditional burial, you can be below ground or above ground, below ground buried or above ground to hit a mausoleum, a columbarium or some type of structure that houses those that have passed away above ground and so that’s an important decision to make.

Some people feel very, very strongly about this. I was in San Francisco about a year ago and a guy came up to me and he’s like, I don’t want to be anywhere underground. I don’t want to be anywhere where water could touch me. I want to be on the top floor, top floor of the mausoleum and I said, you can talk to one of the people here who can help you out with that and so talking about do you want to look above ground or below ground and some of those have some different implications.

The other question is does location matter to you the cemetery unfortunately or fortunately is just like real estate some places are very expensive in the cemetery some places are less expensive.

A couple years ago I started talking about this to my wife and I came home from work and I said honey I picked out a perfect spot a cemetery spot for us and she instantly interrupted me knowing my personality she said let me guess it’s the most expensive spot in the cemetery and I said yes and so it was on the lake in our stations of the cross overlooking the mountains just absolutely gorgeous and her response was honey your dead it really doesn’t matter and I want the cheapest place possible.

So one of the conversations is do you want the cheapest? or do you want the most expensive? do you want a view? do you not want a view? or doesn’t it matter?

And so what is that location that you want for your family not only geographically do I want to be in North Denver, South Denver, do I want to be in Ohio but within the cemetery does that location matter to you?

And then the third piece with the question I would argue that you want to think about is who’s going to help you out with this?

Earlier this year my daughter bought her first house, very proud of her, and she said you know what dad I’m going to do it without a real estate agent she’s like I can save thousands of dollars you know how much I paid this guy to be a real estate agent? I said yes and you’re thankful and he actually save you money in the end.

And she came to me after she bought the house and said, yes, it was so good to have the real estate agent. He helped me through things and actually got me things that actually saved me money in the end.

I would really recommend working with one of our family service advisers. They could take you around the cemetery, look at all the different options that are out there. Some people have extended family and I’ve had questions like, can my husband and I and a child be all buried in the same plot and Family Service Advisor can work with you to help you answer your questions, look at your needs, and find out what’s going to be most beneficial to you.

And so here are the couple questions for you to think about with regard to cemetery is do you want a traditional burial? Or cremation? Do you want to be above ground? below ground? And does location matter? and then, once you have those things in mind, I would suggest giving us a call, talking to one of our family service advisers and they can help guide you and through the us and help you find that perfect spot for you and or your loved one for all of eternity.

This is Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark. Have a blessed day.

For more information about preplanning your funeral and cemetery needs, visit our website:

Benefits of Preplanning Your Funeral and Cemetery Needs │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello this is Deacon Marc with funeral facts with Deacon Marc in the last video we talked about an introduction to pre planning and the three different pieces that are involved in pre planning; The Funeral Home, The Cemetery and The Church.

This week we’re going to take it in a little bit of different approach and talk about what are the benefits of pre planning and then we’ll go into each of those three parts in a little bit more detail in a future video.

But let’s talk about the benefits of pre planning and there are several.

The first one I want to talk about is you guarantee that your wishes are granted.

By doing the pre planning no one has to think about what you would have wanted or anything like that. Your wishes and desires are made clear in that plan and especially today where so many families are experiencing children that are leaving the church it’s really important especially if you want a church funeral, to have those plans clearly outlined so that you have that mass, that service that you want.

So one, your wishes are met.

Two is that it relieves stress. Now it’s not your stress that I’m talking about as my wife would tell me your dead you have no stress. OK, what we’re talking about is stress for your family.

Imagine at your passing they’re trying to figure everything out they’re grieving and now they have to deal with planning a funeral. By having them pre plans in place it really diminishes the stress in the family where they can really focus on their grieving and praying for you.

So, it makes your wishes clear, it relieves the stress of your family there’s, also financial savings to it. When I first got here at the cemetery we laid to rest a gentleman and did his pre planning in 1985 and yet he was buried in 2021 so he paid 1985 prices for 2021 funeral let me just put that in perspective.

In 1985 I can remember going getting a candy bar for $0.35 getting my favorite Snickers bar. Now you go anywhere you’re talking $2.00, $2.25, $2.50.

So, there’s that savings overtime especially the earlier you do your pre planning the more you’re going to save within it.

And then the final piece and maybe the most important is it helps you have the sense of accomplishment but it also spiritually it helps you realize that our life today is not the end but it’s the beginning.

We were created to be with the heavenly father and it helps us put this light into perspective.

There’s many benefits to pre planning and I would encourage you to pre planning if you want more information about preplanning please give us a call here at Catholic Funeral Cemetery Services (CFCS) of Colorado.

But whatever you do, begin; become prepared because it does make a difference and that is Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Make it a great day!

For more information about preplanning your funeral and cemetery needs, please visit our website:

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Preplanning Your Funeral and Cemetery Needs │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to Funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

So my question to you today is are you prepared for your for your passing by doing your pre-planning. Pre-planning is important to help us in our own preparations to realize that we are coming to a final end of our life at some point and that preparation is actually absolutely crucial and there are three parts to pre-planning your funeral arrangements.

One is funeral home. The funeral home takes care of your body and it’s almost like the wedding coordinator. They coordinate all the services and do all those different pieces.

The second part of it is the cemetery. Where do you want to have your body interred where your cremated remains in Interred.

And then the third piece is the church and the services. Where do you want to have the services? What kind of readings do you want? What kind of music you want? And so there really are three different pieces to that pre-planning to truly become prepared for your final days.

In a future video, we’re going to talk about the benefits of pre-planning but for right now, I wanted to give you an understanding of what is involved.

You have the funeral planning of who’s going to take care of your body. You have the cemetery planning of where you’re going to be laid to rest and then you have the church services of where those services are going to happen and what those services are going to look like and in doing that, you can be prepared. Just like we’re preparing for Christmas.

Have a great day. God bless and make it a great day.

This is Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc.

To request a free funeral and cemetery planning guide, visit our website:

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Why be Buried in a Catholic Cemetery │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to funeral facts with Deacon Marc we are going to dive into today the question of why be buried in the Catholic cemetery, in the Catholic Cemetery what are the benefits of it and so that’s what going talk about.

Last week we talked about why being be buried in turn in a cemetery in general now we’re going to talk about the Catholic cemetery and what is the benefit of being in a Catholic cemetery and there are a couple of different benefits to it.

One is the care. The obligation according to Canon law for diocese to take care of their cemeteries and so oftentimes with effective leadership within the diocese as we have here in Denver the Catholic cemeteries are well beyond what you’ll find anywhere else in the local area and so the quality of the beauty that is there is just exceptional we really strive to have beauty because it’s one of those 3 transcendentals truth goodness and beauty and it’s a way to be drawn towards God and the love of God and so that is one piece of it that’s just secure the beauty that you typically find in a Catholic cemetery.

The second piece is tradition. When you go back into the early Christians, not the ones that arrive early to mass on a Sunday, but early Christians went right after Jesus went up ascending to heaven. In those early days of the church they started having martyrs and what they would often do is bury is have a church near where that person was martyred and then cemeteries started being built by those churches.

And so there’s a long tradition in Christianity and Catholicism of having the Catholic Church be the center of cemeteries and where people are laid to rest in this day and age with land the way it is and with the church spread out the way it is in cities the way we have it oftentimes we don’t have church cemeteries although many cases we do, but in most a lot of cases we have like we have here in Denver these larger cemeteries that are run by the Catholic Church and so it’s part of our tradition of bringing that community together.

And then the third piece would be prayer, and being part of a Catholic community even upon passing away we truly know and believe that prayers are prayers for those who’ve passed away make a difference and we’re called to pray for them as one of those spirit spiritual works of mercy is to pray for the dead.

So being buried here at a Catholic cemetery you have people regularly praying for those that are in our care here at the cemetery every First Friday of the month for the last decades of years and we’ve been having the First Friday that’s what we’ve been praying for all those who are in our care we get together regularly as a staff every morning we’re praying for those that are in our care and see how those prayers being said formally but then I can’t tell you how many times I’m walking and driving around the cemetery and see people walking around just saying prayers for all those that they come across as they’re walking through the cemetery.

Actually have one priest great suggestions he said go in any section of the cemetery on like All Souls day and just as you pass each gravesite say a Hail Mary with that person’s name as you walk by them and just pray for them so you’re part of this community.

We often joke we have over 150,000 people here at Mount Olivet it I think we probably have the largest parish in the whole archdiocese if we actually qualified as a parish and so there is this community of a faithful that are here and that we pray for on a daily basis.

So, does it make a difference being buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Absolutely, you’re on consecrated ground you have that prayerful community with you and we really strive to make sure that there is that beauty that it should be there and then it draws us closer to God and so funeral facts with Deacon Marc this Friday; why should we be buried in a Catholic Cemetery? Tradition, beauty, and in the prayers that go along with it.

Have a great week and God bless!


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Why Cremated Remains Should be Interred in a Cemetery – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Welcome the funeral facts with Deacon Marc. We have talked about a lot of different things over the last couple weeks the last couple months and today and then the next session we want to talk about two things that are related. Why should I have my remains interred in a cemetery and, two, why should I have my remains interred in a Catholic cemetery.

We’ll take each of those separately in two different sessions but so today we’ll talk about why should I have my remains interred in a cemetery so just to get it right off the bat we don’t often have conversations about whole bodies being buried in the backyard or in anywhere else at this point in time typically a traditional burial happens in a cemetery so for the most part when we’re talking about why should we be buried in a cemetery or interred at a cemetery we’re talking about cremated remains  and so we want to talk about three different areas the security, this psychological, and then the spiritual. And then all three of those pieces go into the big overarching piece of the whole thing of respect for the body and so let me talk about each one of those pieces separately so that we can give you some insight into why the church says yes you should be interred in a cemetery.

So, let’s start with security; was recently watching the news and on the news was a lady whose house was burglarized robbed and the people took many different things TV, money, jewelry, and this pretty vase that was left on top of the mantle. It wasn’t a vase it was an urn and they were on the news asking for their loved one back. so one reason why it being turned into a cemetery is for that safety and security of your loved one that they’re in a place that is safe and secure for their loved one to be laid for eternal rest.

Then, it brings into the psychological it helps the grieving process. I was talking to a pastor who often has people coming to them and saying hey I’ve lost my loved one X number of years ago and I’m still really grieving is that normal? and he always asks the question “was it the person buried traditionally in a casket or was the person cremated?” and then he asked the question every time he asked the question where are the cremated remains he gets the answer “they’re in the house somewhere…” and so there’s a directly direct tie between being able to go through the grieving process and then also having those cremated remains, the remains of a loved one, in a cemetery it gives you that break that changed realized life is changing. I know we all want to hold on to our loved ones but having that person in the cemetery still allows us to go and visit them but also realizing that life is changing.

And then the third piece is the spiritual side of it. Spiritually when we place our loved one into a cemetery whether they’re in a casket going into the ground, in a mausoleum, whether it’s cremated remains when we close that door when we lower them into the ground when we cover them up we are at that committal we’re also saying God I turn this loved one over to you, I give this person to you. And so we’re giving that word spiritually saying I’m trusting I’m God I’m having that hope and God

So all that comes down together if you take all three of those components together it really is about respecting the body the body that is created in the in the likeness and the image of God and so all the why do we do all those things out of respect for the body and so there is very good reason why we want individuals to be interred placed buried into a cemetery spiritually, for security wise, and for psychological reasons and overall for the respect of the body.

It does make a difference.

That is this week’s funeral facts with Deacon Marc

You have a good week and God bless you!

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“Bring Them Home Mass” gives families with cremated loved ones peace of mind


By Deacon Marc Nestorick

“I have had these cremated remains of my mother in my house for years; what should I do with them?” Too many people ask this question after a loved one is cremated and remains are brought home. While it is the teaching of the Church that individuals, whether full body or cremated, should be placed in a cemetery, this does not happen as often as it should. There are many different reasons people elect to bring their loved one’s cremated remains home- financial, difficulty in making the transition, convenience, etc. Typically, this is not a healthy choice for the grieving process or the spiritual growth of the survivor. In the end, many struggle as to how to respectfully place their loved one in a cemetery.

On All Souls Day this year, Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services (CFCS) offered individuals the opportunity to inter the cremated remains of their deceased loved ones in the ‘Crypt of All Souls’ in Ascension Mausoleum at no cost to the family. Thirty-nine individuals were placed in the ‘Crypt of All Souls’ this year. Some of the individuals passed away this year. Others passed away decades ago. In each case, the families decided that it was time to place their loved one in a cemetery to provide peace and security. One family member stated, “I just didn’t know what to do. This has brought us such peace.”

Family members were invited to attend a Mass followed by the Committal Service. Approximately 225 people attended. This ended with each family member bringing their loved one’s cremated remains forward to be interred in the ‘Crypt of All Souls.’ Final prayers were said for the deceased, and a blessing was provided to those in attendance.

While this is the first time CFCS offered the “Bring Them Home Mass,” the cemetery has been taking cremated remains into its care for many years.  On the third Wednesday of each month, a loved one’s cremated remains are interred into the ‘Crypt of All Souls’ with a Committal Service. The number of interred ranges from 10 – 20 per month. Again, this is done at no cost to the families. “While we take cremated remains into our care every month, we wanted to take the opportunity on this All Souls Day to increase an awareness of the opportunity to bring cremated remains into our care and the importance of that internment.” Deacon Marc, Outreach Manager for the Cemetery, went on to say that “we intend to continue our monthly ‘Crypt of All Souls’ Services while also holding the ‘Bring Them Home Mass’ on future All Souls Days.”  The work of CFCS is focused on helping people fill the void of loss with faith, and this day brought the closure that so many needed.

If you would like more information about the Crypt of All Souls, please get in touch with Deacon Marc Nestorick at or call the cemetery at 303-715-2083.


Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

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Veteran Funeral and Cemetery Services – Denver, Colorado │ Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to this week’s funeral facts of Deacon Marc, we want to talk about two things.

We’re going to start by talking about Veteran Services and then we’re going to talk about taking care of those in need and those that can’t for the funeral so we’re going to talk about those two pieces at to wrap up our series on the ministries of Catholic Funeral Cemetery Services Archdiocese of Denver and then we’ll go from there.

So today, Veteran Services. Just wanted to let people know that we do have many veterans buried here at Mount Olivet at Saint Simeon and we work with the veteran’s families to make sure that they receive their military honors to many veterans. It’s important for them to be buried in a Catholic cemetery and we can do that here. We also have programs in place to help make it more affordable for veterans to be buried in the Catholic Cemetery if that’s what they wish to do.

So please there’s a page on our website that talks about Veteran’s Services and our ministry to help the veterans as well.

But I want to talk today mostly about those who cannot afford a funeral and the piece that is important for you to know is the Catholic Church is taking care of many many and most of those in the Denver metropolitan area we have regularly individuals coming into our care that have passed away unfortunately with absolutely no means.

It doesn’t mean they’re homeless they may have been living with a family member and have no resources no savings nothing and they passed away with nothing and so we work with those families we work with the county government to provide them a proper funeral and what does that mean?

We provide them with, for example, if they’re Catholic they can have the mass they can have the committal they’re placed in a grave that is with a vault and proper casket and with a headstone with their name on it.

There’s some restrictions on it, to be good stewards you know but with what the monument is we have a standard monument for the for the families that we’re working with that are needing these services but at the same point in time every person that comes to us is given a dignified and spiritual burial here at Mount Olivet.

We haven’t turned anybody away, it is a sacrifice on many families parts for the funeral and things like that but please know those who can’t afford it a funeral are receiving it and they’re receiving it through the Catholic Church.

That is funeral facts with Deacon Marc, make it a great week.

For more information about our Veteran services, visit:


Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services of Colorado
A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

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New Outdoor Altar Consecrated – Mount Olivet Cemetery Section 52

New Outdoor Altar Consecrated

Mount Olivet Cemetery Section 52

Construction of the central gazebo in Section 52 was completed in the Spring of 2023. A new outdoor altar was installed in September 2023 and it was consecrated during a special Mass on Sept. 19, 2023. Outdoor Masses are now possible in this space. To inquire about scheduling an outdoor Mass in Section 52, please email

The initial development of the new Section 52 at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery was completed in the fall of 2022. Section 52 offers casket and cremation burial plots. The section is divided into two parts. The north half is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe while the south half is dedicated to Our Lady of La Vang. To speak with a Family Service Advisor and learn more about burial options in Section 52, click here.

For more information about our new developments, visit the following link:


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A Ministry of the Archdiocese of Denver

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Precious Lives Burial Ministry – Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc

Below is a transcript the the video:

Hello and welcome to funeral Facts with Deacon Mark.

We started last week talking about the ministries we offer as part of the Archdiocese of Denver Catholic Funeral Cemetery Services of Colorado and we talked about the crypt of all souls. Today, we’re going to talk about a very special ministry program we have called Precious Lives and it’s a program where at no cost of families, we take into our care.

Those babies that are lost prematurely through stillbirth, through miscarriage, and we give them a funeral and we give them a committal as well and so it’s a beautiful ministry, but I want to start with the why do we do it?

People ask why do you? Why do you take care of these babies?

Bottom line answer is they’re babies. We believe as a church that life starts at the time of conception and so these individuals that are in the womb of their mothers are children, children of God unfortunately we don’t get to meet them or spend a lot of time with them but they are children of god and so we want to treat them respectfully and we want to give them a burial here.

Every month on the third Wednesday of the month we have families coming to us that have lost their babies and we provide them at no cost at all a funeral and we do it right here in the chapel so we provide that funeral for them, and then we go out and we have the precious life sections in our cemetery where we lay those babies to rest and often times the parents can then come back and see their baby that they lost and be with that child they lost and cared so much for.

So, we do have the precious lives, and we want everybody to know about it. Because way too any families experience miscarriages and experience this type of loss and we want them to know that the church is here to care for their loved one, care for their baby but also care for them as a couple.

That’s this week’s Funeral Facts with Deacon Marc.

Make it a great week.

For more information about the Precious Lives Burial Program, visit the following link:


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