What is a Columbarium

The word “columbarium” is derived from the Latin word for “dove” (columba), the bird of peace and a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

It is a structure composed of many niches to permit the interment of the ashes of those who have been cremated.

The Cathedral Columbarium

The Cathedral Columbarium has been established by the Diocese of Geraldton to serve the growing need for a place of dignity where the ashes of cremated loved ones can be interred.

The Cathedral Columbarium is a contemplative place set within the magnificent St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral Precinct and integrated into a garden of Midwest flora. It is a place where grief and loss are healed and hope restored, and where the lives of loved ones can be celebrated and honoured.

For people of faith, the Cathedral Columbarium is a final resting place in the presence of the faith community that was central to their lives and those of their children and grandchildren.

Catholics, Cremations & Columbariums

In 1963, the Church lifted the prohibition of Catholics being cremated. Since then the choice of cremation has notably increased and parishes have responded by providing places often near the parish church where the ashes of loved ones can be interred. This follows the tradition of people being interred near the parish church where their remains can be honoured within the Faith Community in which the deceased lived and worshipped.

The Church says that “. . . the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority.” (Ad resurgendum cum Christo, 1016, #5)

By treating the body with dignity in death the Church expresses her belief in the resurrection. When human ashes are interred in a columbarium in the environs of their Church, their proximity to the worshipping community aids the belief that there is a relationship between the living and the dead expressed through memory and prayer.

Practical Matters

How much for a niche in the Columbarium?

The standard cost is $1710 [GST inclusive]. This includes the niche, a standard design and size engraved stone memorial plaque, a niche container for the ashes (called a cinerary urn) of your loved one to be placed in and an administration fee. If you want a photo ceramic attached to the memorial plaque there is an extra charge.

Can niches be purchased in advance?

Yes, niches can be purchased in advance. Couples or families may like to purchase several so that the ashes of family members can be interred in immediate proximity to each other. In the case of advance niche purchase, the cost of the stone memorial plaque and cinerary urn will be charged at the time of interment of the ashes as these costs will vary over time.

Are there other costs?

If you wish to have a religious interment ceremony requiring the services of a priest, there will be an extra fee payable to the parish at the time of interment. This fee helps pay the yearly stipend of the parish clergy.

Cathedral Columbarium Location

Located in the Precinct of the world renowned Monsignor John Cyril Hawes designed St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Geraldton, the Cathedral Columbarium offers a dignified place where the ashes of your beloved can be interred and where they can be remembered and honored into the future.

Niches can be purchased in advance.

Further Information

Copies of the Columbarium Terms and Conditions and Columbarium Application Forms are available at the Bishop’s House, 7 Maitland Street, Geraldton, WA


Cathedral Columbarium
Diocesan Office
PO Box 46

Phone: (08) 9921 3221
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.