The Church of the Annunciation has begun expansion of its 112-year-old historic cemetery. The expansion will offer a more sacred space and park like setting directly behind the old cemetery on Girdle Road in Elma.
"The cemetery is consecrated ground where we respectfully and lovingly dignify the human remains of our loved ones," Father Eugene Ulrich, pastor of the Church of the Annunciation said. "The overall design provides a place for prayer and meditation, as well as a suitable place to memorialize our loved ones."
"The expansion itself incorporates the available land that we had," Deacon Jim Jaworski said. The new space previously was the maintenance garage, storage facility and picnic pavilion.
The Resurrection Committal Chapel will be the centerpiece of the cemetery expansion. The chapel will have four free-standing columbarium and an altar for outdoor services. Each columbarium has niches for the burial of cremated remains with each niche accommodating two sets of cremains. "We offer every type of burial, traditional or cremains," Deacon Jaworski said.
The church cemetery is not limited to Annunciation parishioners. The cemetery is a consecrated Roman Catholic sacred space open to all desiring a quiet place to rest.
"We have great value for our history here. There are many family names that are sprinkled throughout the cemetery," said Deb Keenan, pastoral associate for ministry.
Prior to 1900, the predominant language in the area of Elma was German. "Anybody coming from Germany found their way to Elma," explained Frank Maciejewski, Elma town historian.
German families settled on farms and later donated the land for the original church and cemetery. "Those German farmers were very supportive of the Church and generous," Father Ulrich said.
Generations of families lived and worshiped at Annunciation Parish.
"Everybody is buried there from my family. My great grandparents all the way down to my husband are all buried there and my stone is ready for me. All I need are a couple of numbers, the date," said parishioner Evelyn Frank. Frank's great grandparents came from Germany in 1830.
Pre-construction, veteran/first responder, active ministry and multiple-unit discounts are available.
Call the parish office at 716-683-5254 to schedule an appointment or for more information.