The history of Fourteen Holy Helpers begins with the purchase of land offered by the Community of True Inspiration (known as The Ebenezers). The first payment was made on October 29, 1863 and another on March 3, 1864. The first mass was celebrated October 2, 1864 by 1st Pastor, Fr. D. Martin Winnands, and dedicated as the Fourteen Holy Helpers. Additional land was purchased on October 10, 1864, including lot number 88, which became the Fourteen Holy Helpers Cemetery.
The first burial recorded is that of Franciscus Poutier who died on May 2, 1865 and was interred on May 4, 1865 for a fee of $2.00. He was seventeen years old.
Early “Cash Book” entries for continuing cemetery maintenance were recorded as follows:
1897 Trees in cemetery, $90.00
1898 Sewer pipes to cemetery, $26.63
1899 Cemetery officially established. Graves now sold for $287.75
1930 New fence and grading, beautifying cemetery, $2,063.18
1938 Improvements and repairs to foundations for many monuments in the old cemetery, $967.79
1951 Repairs to the cemetery road
1987-1988 Parish cemetery expanded to north end, drainage pipes relocated and grave locations mapped
Other repairs and upkeep have been done in recent years.
An area at the south end of the cemetery is known as the “Baby” section. This area is easily identified by the sad sight of very small headstones.
Fourteen Holy Helpers cemetery is the final resting place of three Pastors and one other priest. Three lie in the “Priests Corner”. They are: Rev. Charles Geppert, 4th Pastor, 1879-1885; Rev. Francis Fromholzer, 5th Pastor, 1885-1893; Rev. Francis Baumgartner (a “14HH boy” ordained to priesthood in 1936), died in 1989. Msgr. John H. Bugman, 11th Pastor, 1982-1994 died in 2013, and lies at the north end of the cemetery.
A monument was installed at the entrance to our cemetery circa 1988, with the invocation, “May the Angels lead you into Paradise…”. The back of the monument is inscribed with the name of Daniel Nazzarett, to honor his death in service to our country in WWII. He was 22 years old. The monument was donated by his sisters, Ann Werner, Louise Porreca and Lorraine Goszewski, all longtime members of 14HH.
The monument is formed from Vermont Barre Gray granite; quarried in Barre, Vermont. It bears the seal “Barre Guild” representing the Stonecutters Guild. It was installed by the Stone Art Memorial Company.
Our church cemetery is now 157 years old. General guidelines of the Diocese suggest that maintenance for religious cemeteries should be continued by active parishes “in perpetuity”. As Catholics, we accept this care as Works of Mercy to bury the dead, comfort the grieving and to pray for all souls. Such care shows our respect for the dead and for future generations.
We remember. Amen