St. Peter's Catholic Church

108 E. St. Peter St.~ New Iberia LA 70560 ~ (337) 369-3816

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November: A Month of Remembrance

Cemetery Endowment FundEach year, during the month of November we take time to pause and remember those who have gone before us and now wait reuniting on a yet distant shore. For many of us, the final resting place for our dearly beloved is the St. Peter Cemetery. The St. Peter Cemetery is a unique treasure of the City of New Iberia and within its boundaries are some of the most influential historical figures of our city and parish as well as those who gave tirelessly and selflessly for the care and well-being of others. The cemetery is currently able to be maintained by the gracious donations of so many of the parishioner and concerned citizens of New Iberia.

However, there are many tombs in the cemetery that have no one to care for them either due to families who have moved away, or the person resting there may have been an only child and did not have a family of their own. Several years ago, we began a program of adopting a grave. By adopting a grave one can place flowers and offer prayers for the repose of the unknown person who is resting there. We ask that you prayerfully consider adopting a grave, if not financially, at least spiritually.

During this month, we also have a special collection for the Cemetery Endowment Fund which is a vital financial component. The Cemetery Endowment Fund allows for monies to be collected and earn interest which is then available to assist in the perpetual up-keeping of the cemetery. Although this past year, there was a brief lapse in maintenance due to a personnel change, it is an eerie reminder of how quickly the cemetery could fall into disrepair if it is not properly funded. As Roman Catholics, we are taught that one of the Corporal Work of Mercy is burying the dead and by extension is also to keep the sacred space of the cemetery a fitting resting place for our beloved dead.

We ask that you prayerfully consider financially supporting the cemetery if you are not currently. It is through your generous support that we will be able to keep this sacred space maintained and thus a fitting, beautiful resting place for our dearly departed and a public witness to the Catholicity that has so long defined the people of New Iberia.

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Cemeteries

Many questions have been asked over the past years about the cemetery and its ownership, governance, and maintenance. Below are several of the most frequently asked questions. We invite you to contact the parish office should you have questions about the cemetery or need further clarification on matters concerning the cemetery. Please be reminded that next weekend’s second collection is taken for the St. Peter Cemetery Endowment Fund.

• Who owns the cemetery and what rules or laws govern the cemetery?

St. Peter’s Cemetery is owned by St. Peter’s Church. St. Peter’s Cemetery is governed by the Laws of the Church – Canon Law – the Laws of the State of Louisiana Cemetery Board, and the Civil Law of the State of Louisiana. The St. Peter Cemetery has a cemetery handbook which outlines the laws of the cemetery that are in accordance with Canon Law, Laws of the State of Louisiana Cemetery Board, and the Civil Law of the State of Louisiana. The parish also has a Cemetery Board which meets to discuss topics and provide advice on the concern of the cemetery’s operation and other aspects.

• Why are there dues and fees associated with the cemetery?

The dues and fees associated with the cemetery are ways in which funding may be obtained in order to provide the needed maintenance and upkeep for the cemetery. The cemetery stands alone and separate from the parish’s operational budget.

• What is the difference between the annual fee and the perpetual due?

The annual dues are assessed yearly based upon the size of the plot, or burial space or spaces, owned by the particular family. The perpetual dues are a one-time due amount paid. These funds are directly deposited into the cemetery endowment fund for future upkeep. The endowment draws interest yearly and is set aside for major expenses such as: recovery from natural disasters, property acquisitions, etc.

• Who is responsible for the upkeep of the tombs and monuments?

The responsibility of the upkeep of the tomb and monument is that of the plot owner. The church does not maintain the individual tomb or monument. If one is unable to upkeep the tomb or monument, we do maintain a list of professionals who are able to assist. All one need do is contact the cemetery office. The cemetery does not undertake upkeep and maintenance of tombs and monuments. This is financially prohibitive. Only in extreme circumstances will the cemetery authority intervene in the upkeep of tombs and monuments.

• When I purchase a plot in the cemetery, do I own the property?

When one purchases a plot in the cemetery, they are purchasing the Right of Interment only which does allow for the individual to build a suitable tomb or monument. The property remains in the possession of the St. Peter’s Cemetery. Only the Right of Interment is purchased at the time of the plot and that Right remains with the purchaser and those legally entitled to that right as determined by the purchaser. Any transfers of title or right must be done according to the State Law of Louisiana and copies provided to the cemetery authority.

• Who makes the decision whether a tomb or monument is suitable for burial?

The St. Peter Cemetery authority has the right to evaluate all structures in the cemetery and determine if they are suitable for burial. When the structures are evaluated the factors of structural strength, capacity, and overall strength of the monument are taken into consideration. These elements are factored in to ensure that the tomb or monument will be able to house those remains and that it will not cause damage to the structure once it is opened. Furthermore, these factors are reviewed to provide the safest environment for those who visit the cemetery and also to ensure that the surrounding structures would not be damaged by any failure of the current structure.

• If I decide that I no longer need the burial plot that I have purchased can I sell that plot?

In the event that circumstance change, you have the right to sell the plot that you have purchases. Louisiana State Law does stipulate that sellers should not engage in speculative purchasing and re-selling of tombs. However, the final price is determined by the seller and the party purchasing the plot, tomb, monument, etc. The Cemetery authority does not assign value or stipulate pricing on existing tombs nor does it provide appraisal value.

Memorials & Personal Intentions - Votive Candles

Votive CandlesVotive Candles are available for memorials and personal intentions throughout the Church. Prices and locations are as follows:

Candles on St. Joseph’s Altar are perpetual candles and burn for one year for memorial and personal intentions. The cost of these candles is now $260.00. The increase is due to the fact that the $115.00 did not cover the actual cost of these candles for the year.

The votive candles on the Blessed Mother’s Altar are $5.00 for the seven-day candles.

The votive candles in the Baptistery are for St. Jude and St. Anthony and are $2.00. They burn for one day.

A Way for Seniors to Cut their Income Tax Bill

If you are:

  • Aged 70 ½ or older and
  • Have a regular individual retirement account (“IRA”),

then you should consider a Qualified Charitable Distribution (“QCD”) to the church from your IRA. This was a great idea even before the new tax law was enacted at the end of 2017, but now it probably makes even more sense. The advantages are:

  • the portion contributed directly from your IRA to the church will offset your annual Required Minimum Distribution, meaning
  • your adjusted gross and taxable income will be lower and
  • you could quite possibly lower the portion of your social security that is taxable.

With the increased standard deduction for those 65 or older up to $26,600 for joint filers ($13,300 for singles), doing the QCD would allow you the full tax savings as if you were allowed a charitable deduction under the old tax law. Each person can do a QCD of up to $100,000 per year.

Contact your investment and tax advisor, or call the Church office for more information.

Sanctuary Candle Memorials

Sanctuary Candle MemorialThe Sanctuary Candles located in the church and the adoration chapel can burn for a selected week in memory of a loved one. The donation for each memorial request is $25.00 for the week. These memorial requests will be published in the bulletin.

To request the memorial, please visit the Parish Office during regular office hours.

Give Online

Online giving is an easy way to support St. Peter’s Parish.

2017 Contributions Statement

If you would like to have a copy of your 2017 Statement of Contributions mailed to you, please call the office at 369-3816 to request one.

Second Collections

Nov. 18th
Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

Nov. 25th
Cemetery Endowment

Votive Candle Donations

We are asking parishioners to please remember to place your donations in the donation slot when lighting votive candles for your prayer intentions. Unfortunately, due to the lack of payments, candle expenses are not being covered. By doing this, we can help defray the cost of candles in the parish. Everyone’s cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Weekend November 11, 2018

  • Weekend Offertory $12,321.77
  • Children $14.00
  • Catholic High School Subsidy $30.00
  • Property & Liability Insurance $2,395.08
  • Utilities $180.00
  • All Saints Day $20.00
  • Total Collected: $14,960.85

Contributions to Charities Outside St. Peter’s Church

  • Black & Indian Mission $5.00
  • Catholic Relief Services $10.00

Weekend November 4, 2018

  • Weekend Offertory $11,382.49
  • Church Maintenance & Repair $2,846.58
  • All Saints’ Day $2,731.10
  • All Souls $865.00
  • School $160.00
  • Choir Donation $300.00
  • School $155.00
  • Children’s $7.00

Total Collected: $18,447.17

Weekend October 28, 2018

  • Weekend Offertory $9,802.28
  • Property & Liability Insurance $2,173.60
  • Children’s Collection $19.00
  • Utilities $55.00
  • Catholic High School Subsidy $1,425.53

Total Collected: $13,475.41

Contributions to Charities Outside St. Peter’s Church

  • World Mission Sunday $75.00