Reverence and Respect

Saint Mary’s Cemetery of Winona is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit year round. It may feel like a park when you are visiting, but please remember that these are sacred burial grounds, which require your best behavior. We ask that you respect and follow our rules and regulations when visiting our Catholic cemetery.

Lot Maintenance and Ownership

Ongoing general care of the cemetery is assumed by Saint Mary’s Cemetery of Winona and the cutting of grass, cleaning of the grounds and the pruning of shrubs and trees will be done within reasonable intervals. General care assumed by Saint Mary’s Cemetery of Winona shall in no case mean the maintenance, repair or replacement of any vase, urn, foundation or memorial placed or erected upon lots.

Lot owners desiring additional care of their lots may arrange for such care with the cemetery office, who will be glad to estimate the cost of the work desired. Upon payment of the fees, the Catholic Cemetery will provide the services on a first come, first serve basis, dependent on weather conditions.

The laws of the State of Minnesota govern the descent of ownership to cemetery lots, and are followed closely by staff. The office staff will gladly assist any lot owner who desires information or advice on questions.

Important Information All Lot Holders Should Know:

There are matters typically of immediate concern to families after a burial. Two of those are the care and marking of the grave. The comments below will help make you aware of both the time and climate factors involved. We try to seed and mat burials as soon as possible but there are cases where that is not always an option.

  • During the winter months, when the ground is frozen, it is not possible to seed and mat effectively. These graves are top-dressed, seeded, and matted in the spring, once weather permits.
  • Seeding and matting does not always take. A regular inspection process follows each seeding and matting throughout the growing season. However, the appearance of browned out areas does not always indicate a seeding and matting failure, sometimes this is a temporary appearance depending on current weather conditions.
  • Nearly all new graves will settle, simply because the ground has been disturbed. Even though we take measures to minimize sinking suck as packing the ground, some additional settlement is almost inevitable.
  • Markers may be ordered anytime during the year. They are placed as soon as possible, weather-permitting, except for winter months. This varies in any given year, depending on climate. In some years, we can go into November and still be able to set markers. In most years, it stops at the beginning of November and restarts in the spring as soon as the ground has dried enough. Markers received during the winter months will be placed by Memorial Day.
  • Since nature has a way of intervening in man-made plans, even the best of procedures may sometimes not work out in practice. If your marker or grave is not up to satisfactory standard within the time periods noted above, please do not hesitate to call or submit a request for us to look into the matter. We will look to correct the situation with the utmost urgency.

As a Friendly Reminder…

Our Catholic Cemetery is a Holy Place. These sacred grounds are blessed by the Church and dedicated as a place of prayer and dignity for our faithful departed. Please maintain a quiet reverence and respect for the other people visiting the graves of loved ones.

We encourage the placement of decorations in cemetery issued stands or shepherd hooks throughout the season with the exception of our clean-up dates. We will be as careful as possible with our normal interment and maintenance activities. We regret that we cannot guarantee that all decorations will be free from damage or loss, and we cannot accept responsibility for these occurrences.

Please abide by the following when visiting:

  • Proper attire at all times.
  • Proper behavior at all times.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No Pokémon Go gaming allowed.

All household pets must be leashed when on cemetery grounds at all times. No pets are permitted to run free. Pet owners are responsible and required to immediately remove any droppings left by the pet. ​

Decoration Policies

Saint Mary’s Cemetery Decoration Policy is intended to preserve the natural beauty of the cemetery. The following are provided as guidelines for cemetery procedures: ​

Mausoleum and Columbarium Decoration Policy

​All decorations must be placed in the vases attached to the niche or crypt front only. Decorations may not be placed on the ground by the columbarium. In the case of a funeral service, exceptions can be made by contacting the cemetery.

Burial Niche Decoration Policy

  • All cremated remains must be placed in a cemetery-approved sealed bronze, wood, marble, granite, or industry-approved container. Tackle boxes, decorative tins, etc. are not acceptable.
  • Only specific vases, photos, emblems, medallions are allowed and must be installed by our cemetery staff. Only one vase and/or one photo is allowed per niche.
  • Under no circumstance may any item be glued, taped, or in any other way affixed directly on the niche or name plate. Such placements will be removed and disposed of immediately.
  • Decorations may be placed in the vases specified above except during scheduled cleanup times.
  • Decorations may not be place on the ground by the columbarium. For special occasions such as a birthday or anniversary, exceptions can be made by contacting the cemetery.

Crypt Decoration Policy

The decorations for crypts are limited to approved decorations attached to the face of the crypt such as flower vases, small crosses and veteran symbols. Holiday, Birthday or Anniversary decorations may be temporarily (2 weeks) mounted on the crypt cover as long as they do not interfere with neighboring covers. Any decorations not meeting these requirements may be removed by cemetery staff. ​

Flags Policy

​Flags are permitted provided they are placed in the approved containers as stated above and conform to the overall height restrictions not to exceed 30 inches, (including container). Flags will be removed when and if they become tattered, faded or unsightly.

Decoration Removal Policy

If a decoration is not permitted, deemed inappropriate or has deteriorated, it will be removed and discarded without notice.