Our History

In the 1850s Indianapolis Catholics began a search for ground for a consecrated cemetery. The custom of burying family members on the farm or on the grounds of their church was becoming impractical.

Msgr. Auguste Francois Bessonies, Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish and Vicar General of the Diocese of Vincennes, began the search for burial ground for his parishioners. He himself paid for an eighteen acre plot on Bluff Road and established the first Catholic cemetery in Indianapolis. Originally named St. John Cemetery, in 1891, the cemetery was named Holy Cross Cemetery.

In 1870, a second Catholic cemetery, German Cemetery, was established. It later became St. Joseph Cemetery and eventually merged with Holy Cross Cemetery to become part of the Holy Cross Cemeteries Association.

In 1914, anticipating future needs, the Holy Cross Cemeteries Association purchased approximately seventy acres of land less than a mile south of the original cemeteries. In 1935, Calvary Cemetery was developed on that land. In 1951, all three cemeteries were joined under the Catholic Cemeteries Association.

As the city of Indianapolis grew and the population expanded to the north, the Catholic Cemeteries Association recognized the need for consecrated burial ground north of the city. Coming from the more northern reaches of the city to the south side cemeteries was impractical for many families, some of whom began burying their loved ones in a secular cemetery on the far northeast side. A Catholic section was opened there to accommodate Catholic families.

However, that cemetery was neither consecrated ground nor owned by the Catholic Church. A search began for burial ground on the north side of the city. In 1993, the Archdiocese acquired land on Haverstick Road west of Keystone at the Crossing for Our Lady of Peace Cemetery. The first burial in Our Lady of Peace occurred in March of 1996.

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