Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cremation?

Cremation (using fire and heat) is the process by which the body of the deceased is reduced to its basic elements, in the form of gases or bone fragments. The “ashes” or the remains of the body after the process of cremation are actually the bone fragments that have been reduced to a fine sand-like texture and color that may be scattered or inurned without the need for any other foreign elements.

What is the purpose of Cremation?

Cremation may serve as a funeral or post-funeral rite that is an alternative to the interment of an intact body in a casket. Cremated remains are not a health risk. They may be buried or inurned in memorial sites or columbariums.

What is a Columbarium?

A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e. urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains). The term comes from the Latin columba which means dove.

Why is cremation a good option to consider?

Some people prefer cremation for personal reasons. Some are not attracted to traditional burial or would want to simplify their funeral process, which cremation allows them to do.

Many also prefer cremation because it allows for more efficient use of space rather than traditional burial plots allocated for use in the cemetery. Cremation might also be preferable for environmental reasons. Traditional burial is a known source of certain environmental contaminants, with the coffin itself being the major contaminant.

What does the Catholic Church says about cremation?

Cremation is permitted for Catholics as long as it is not chosen in denial of Christian teaching on the Resurrection and the sacredness of the human body. When cremation is chosen for a good reason, the full course of the Order of the Christian Funerals should still be celebrated, including the Vigil Service (wake), the Funeral liturgy and the Rite of Committal.

Current Catholic liturgical regulations also require that cremation must not take place until after the Funeral Mass. This way, the body may still symbolize the person and may receive the blessings and be the subject of prayers in which the person is mentioned. The preservation of this order allows for a greater expression of the Catholic Faithful’s belief and values.

Through the funeral rites, the Church commends the dead to the merciful love of God and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins.

What should become of the cremated remains after the funeral?

Church teaching insists that cremated remains must be given the same respect as the body, including the manner in which they are carried and the attention given to their appropriate transport and placement. The cremated remains of a body are to be deposited in a worthy container such as an urn and buried, entombed or inurned preferably in a Catholic cemetery or columbarium, using the rites of the Order of the Christian Funerals.

Can I keep the remains of my loved one at home?

It is not advised that you do.

The following are NOT considered to be reverent dispositions that the Church requires:

a. scattering cremated remains
b. dividing cremated remains
c. keeping cremated remains at home

Would St. Therese Columbarium be an ideal resting place for my inurned loved ones?


The Shrine of St. Thérèse and Columbarium is an impressive structure dedicated to the life and spirituality of one of the most beloved saints of modern times, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Her teachings on love and devotion are the inspiration behind the construction of the Shrine. Every detail of the Shrine and the Columbarium are designed to inspire and touch devotees and visitors as they come to visit.

The Columbarium houses 37,944 vaults in air-conditioned and al fresco areas, as well as various amenities like a virtual video library of your memories with your
loved ones, an ecclesiastical museum, a remembering chapel where masses are celebrated daily and other practical amenities like a flower and souvenir shop and convenient basement parking.

St. Thérèse Shrine and Columbarium is a sanctuary where your loved ones can rest and where you can remember them with love.

Would acquiring a vault in St. Therese Columbarium be a wise personal investment?

Yes, because not only are the vaults in St. Thérèse imported and top-quality, the location of the Columbarium is also very convenient and strategic. Every vault you acquire in the Columbarium can house up to four urns and is yours forever, with no maintenance fees. Furthermore, it is a good and sound investment as the value of the vaults only continues to appreciate with time.