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St. Bernard Catholic Cemetery
St. Bernard Catholic Cemetery is across Bayou Terre-Aus-Boeufs
from the church from its inception in 1787. This cemetery has continued to
serve the Catholic Isleņos in St. Bernard
ever since. It is the oldest, still in use, cemetery in the State of
Louisiana. The Isleņos were brought from the
Canary Islands by the Spanish Governor Bernard Galvez to help defend the new
Spanish territory. Such names as Acosta, Perez, Nunez, Silvertia,
Estopinal and Rodriquez can be found on the tombs. These are the same
names of the people who populated the nearby towns and villages and many of
their families remain in the area today.
The Isleņos were and are humble, unpretentious people and their approach to burial is
highly personalized. Graves are decorated with simple crosses, hand-lettered
inscriptions, and shadow-boxes. Today there are still a few of the old
sites as the cemetery continues to grow. The Isleņos spoke Spanish, but not
many could write, so some of the older tombs have inscriptions in French, the
stonecutters' language at the time.
The above five pictures are from the latest brochure produced for the sale of
the newest mausoleum at St. Bernard Catholic Cemetery. Below you will find
other pictures from activities held during the year at the cemetery. This
historic cemetery certainly is worth the time to travel to visit. It may
also be worth a nice ride in the country to visit if your family is looking for
a quiet and safe burial spot. If you would like more information on our
new mausoleum, please contact Westlawn.
The altar on the night of All Hallows' Eve.