Informational Letter on Damage to St. Mary's Cemetery, Cortland

Monday, July 8, 2013 - Cortland

To Lot Holders and Family Members of those buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Cortland:

Mother Nature has unleashed her wrath on many communities in upstate New York including Cortland County. In this time of havoc and flooding, St. Mary’s Cemetery was, unfortunately, in that path and suffered a tremendous amount of destruction. Hundreds of cubic yards of earthen material was washed from the north hillside and dumped on many, many family graves and lots.

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, Inc., of which St. Mary’s is a part, takes great pride in the care of the grounds of St. Mary’s as well as the feelings and grief of our lot owners and families. We are committed to rectifying this horrific event. It will, however, take time to bring all the necessary factors together to put St. Mary’s back to its pristine condition. To accomplish this, we will need to work with various government agencies that control this type of reconstruction. The water that will be directed and collected must meet many special requirements. Cooperation from adjacent neighbors will also be necessary to access this difficult site.

It is our intention to begin reconstruction as soon as all the requirements are met. Clean up of individual gravesites will be accomplished once the water flow has been controlled. We ask for your patience and prayers during the coming weeks. In the end, St. Mary’s will again be the beautiful, serene cemetery it was.

Thank you for your understanding.


Mark Lazaroski

Director of Cemeteries

Diocese of Syracuse


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