Canon Law (Church Law) specifically designates two places on this earth as “sacred” — places where the faithful worship (our churches), and places where the faithful are buried (our Catholic cemeteries). (Canon 1205)
Where possible, the Church is to have its own cemeteries or at least areas in civil cemeteries that are designated for the deceased members of the faithful and properly blessed. (Canon 1240)
Here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh we are fortunate to have numerous Catholic cemeteries specifically set aside by the Church for the burial of the faithful. Currently, there are 16 diocesan cemeteries, owned and operated by The Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and 116 parish cemeteries, which are owned and operated by the parish to which they are attached.
Typically, diocesan cemetery properties are much larger than parish cemetery properties because they were established to meet the burial needs of multiple parish communities, unlike the parish cemeteries, which were established to meet only the needs of those who belong to that particular parish community.