The Columbarium At
Good Shepherd Catholic Church
13550 Chaney Thompson Rd SE
Huntsville, Alabama
(256) 882-1844

Columbarium FAQ
Funeral Planning Guide
Right of Inurment

Operating Rules and Regulations

Good Shepherd Catholic Church, hereafter referred to as the "Church," has buildt a Columbarium to provide niches for the inurnment of our loved ones.

Columbarium Board

The Pastor in concert with the Pastoral Council has appointed a Board, composed of five volunteer members of the Church. They will oversee the operation of the columbarium and issue an annual report to the Pastor.

Right of Inurnment

For the purpose of control and clear understanding, a Right of Inurnment Certificate will be executed for each columbarium niche. One niche will accommodate one or two urns. The Right of Inurnment Certificate does not constitute a sale of property, but is merely the provision of a secure space. All ownership of the land and the columbarium remains with the Church. This instrument states the right of the parties, including specifically a provision granting full authority to the Church to move or relocate niches with cremains if relocation of the columbarium becomes necessary in the opinion of the Board.


The columbarium is constructed of stone, stucco, and concrete with gardens appropriate to the setting. Niche faceplates will be of granite and engraved at the time of inurnment. The urns, inurnment of one or two urns (whichever is applicable), and engraving cost will be included in the cost of the niche. Each niche will be 11.5"wide x 11.5" high and 11.5" deep and have a capacity for two urns.

Operation and Duties of The Board

  1. The rules and regulations set forth herein plus any future amendments, approved by the Pastor and Council, shall govern the operation of the Columbarium Board.
  2. The Board and the Pastor will decide any matter not covered by the rules and regulations set forth herein and will review and amend them as required. All who use the columbarium agree to abide by the rules and regulations as they now exist, or as they may be amended in the future.
  3. The Custodian of the Columbarium is responsible for the daily administration and
    record keeping to include the following:

    The name of each person to whom a Right of Inurnment is issued
    The name of each inurnment of cremains in a niche
    The names and addresses of the next of kin of niche owners
    A diagram showing the owner of each individual niche in the columbarium
    A list of each name engraved on a faceplate, with the dates of birth and death, and the date of the inurnment.
  4. The Board shall consist of five members of the Church. Each initially appointed board member shall serve a 3-year term and the Board will decide on the rotation procedure for future terms. The Chairman of the Board shall be elected by the board members and responsible for coordination with the Pastoral Council.
  5. The Board shall meet at any time at the discretion of the Chairman, to conduct business. The presence of three members or more shall constitute a quorum.
  6. The Board is responsible for the management of all funds directly associated with the columbarium.
  7. The cost of construction and maintenance of the columbarium will be covered by the sale of the niches. The Board will be responsible for budgeting funds to cover the expense of the columbarium custodian, utilities, insurance, maintenance of the facility and appropriate landscaping.
  8. Funds accumulated from the sale of the niches will be placed in the columbarium's bank account. When this accumulation exceeds the amount needed for operation, maintenance and care to the columbarium and grounds, it will be set aside toward columbarium expansion. In the event accumulated funds exceed these needs, they may be used for capital improvements or repairs to the Church at the discretion of the Board and the Pastor.
  9. The Board will provide suitable planting and landscaping in the columbarium area. No flowers, plants or other decoration may be placed in the areas without prior approval of the Board. Memorial flowers maybe placed in the Church on any designated Sunday.
  10. Special cases may arise in which literal enforcement of these Rules and Regulations or fees may impose unnecessary hardship. The Pastor and the Board, therefore, reserve the right, without notice, to grant exceptions to any of these Rules and Regulations or fees, when in the judgment of the Board such action appears advisable. Such exceptions shall in no way be construed as affecting the general application of these Rules and Regulations and shall not constitute a waiver of any of them.

Rules of Inurnment

  1. The reservation of a niche and the payment of the fee give the individual the right to be inurned. The Church provides only the urns, niches, engraving and inurnment and is not responsible for other costs for funeral expenses of whatever nature.
  2. Anyone who possesses a Right of Inurnment Certificate may apply at any time for authorization of the inurnment of a single urn containing the cremains of one of the persons listed on the Right of Inurnment Certificate. Authorization can be granted for inurnment of a different family member upon the approval of the Pastor. A separate authorization shall be required for each inurnment.
  3. No transfer of reservation of a columbarium niche may be made to another person, estate or corporation. However, the Church may repurchase a niche for just cause as determined by the Board. The repurchase price will be the original price less any cost of replacing an engraved niche faceplate.
  4. All arrangements for inurnment will be under the direction of the Pastor of the Church. The service will be as prescribed by the Pastor in consultation with the family and in accordance with the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Exceptions must receive prior approval of the Pastor. Neither the Church nor the Pastor shall be responsible for the Right of Inurnment or for the identity of the cremains that are to be inurned.
  5. The urn may be sent with the body to the crematory for emplacement of the ashes. A funeral home will make these arrangements and have the urn cap permanently placed once the ashes are enclosed. The urn is then placed in the reserved niche at the Church following the planned services.
  6. The purchaser assumes the obligation to have the remains cremated and otherwise prepared in accord with the applicable laws of the State of Alabama.
  7. Removal of an urn for permanent inurnment in another facility will be permitted only upon presentation of the appropriate legal documents and payment of a fee determined by the Board.
  8. Only the cremains of humans will be allowed to be inurned in the columbarium niches. However, inert personal mementos may be placed with each urn provided they would fit in a space that is: 4x4x10.
  9. Persons eligible to be inurned in the columbarium include: Registered Parishioners and their family members Former parishioners and their family members (Formally registered) Any others, with prior approval of the Board and the Pastor
    Note: Family members need not be Catholic to be inurned.

Responsibilities of the Church

  1. The Church shall maintain the columbarium, and each niche, in good condition; take reasonable precautions against defacement or defilement of the niches and the engraving of the faceplates through the use of a fence with gates to be locked at night and motion activated security lights. Maintain and preserve all records pertaining to the columbarium. Establish a maintenance fund that is to be derived from fees received from each niche sale.
  2. If sufficient funds and need exist the Board shall have the right to physically expand the columbarium and associated landscaping in compliance with applicable local ordinances.
  3. In the event that the Church or the columbarium shall be relocated or ceases to operate or in the event of the destruction of the columbarium resulting from an act of God, the Church shall cause the re-inurnment of the cremains at another facility approved by the Church. If such is not available, the Board shall cause the cremains to be disposed of in accordance with Catholic doctrine and in a legal manner.