PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese recently conducted a series of meetings as it considers a new round of consolidations in response to a dwindling number of parishioners.

It raises the question – what happens to the cemetery that is affiliated with one of the church closings? Who is responsible for the maintenance of the former church’s burial ground?

To try to resolve that question, the Diocese has established a non-profit organization called the Catholic Parish Cemeteries Association, or CPCA.

It’s designed to help churches with things like cemetery record-keeping, finances and burials.

Marianne Linn, CPCA’s founding executive director, told KDKA-TV News, “It was determined we would take the cemeteries and merge them. However, they would still be owned by the parishes, but managed by our [new] corporation, and we are taking them on gradually.”

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There are a total of 116 parish-operated cemeteries in the Diocese, associated with 78 parishes. The Diocese hopes to have the system in place by the end of this year.

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