Bishop Olmsted Dedicates New Holy Cross Mortuary in West Valley

 Diocese of Phoenix

Catholic Cemeteries & Mortuaries

2033 N. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008


Contact: Gary L. Brown, President/CEO

Phone: 602-267-1329



AVONDALE (May 20, 2013) — The Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, and the Most Reverend Eduardo A. Nevares, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, dedicated and blessed a new mortuary and chapel during a special Mass at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery on April 20. Hundreds attended the Mass from throughout Arizona. The facility opened for service on April 21 and served its first family on April 22.

“Every Christian place of burial speaks to the fact that the pain of death will come to an end,” the Bishop said.  “It speaks even more clearly about the resurrection.”

Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery and Mortuary is located at 9925 W. Thomas Road in Avondale. The 22,000-square-foot, full-service facility will serve parishes and Catholic community members throughout the West Valley. Three years in development, the mortuary is capable of providing services to more than 900 families per year. The facility also houses Holy Cross cemetery counseling and administrative offices, a 245-seat chapel and a 100-seat multipurpose room/chapel.

The facility will be staffed by 10 professional funeral directors, arrangers, funeral associates, family service counselors and managers. In addition to full-body funerals and cremation services, the staff will also provide bereavement counseling to grieving families.

The mortuary is part of the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Cemeteries and Mortuaries service network that provides services throughout Central and Northern Arizona. Other properties include St. Francis and Holy Redeemer Catholic Cemeteries in Phoenix, Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Flagstaff, All Souls Catholic Cemetery in Verde Valley and Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery and Mortuary in Mesa.


A Catholic cemetery and mortuary is filled with signs of love.  Those signs create within the imagination a sense of garden, “especially the garden where the King of Creation walks,” the Bishop said.

“Compassion, trust, spirituality and empathy are the terms families use when evaluating our Queen of Heaven Mortuary staff,” said Gary L. Brown, President of DOPCCM. “These are the same virtues we will deliver to the members of the West Valley community through Holy Cross Mortuary.”

Brown thanked the entire staff and Advisory Council members of DOPCCM for completing this expansion and expressed special thanks to Harry Antram, Director of DOPCCM Funeral Services, for making Queen of Heaven a success and leading the design team in the development of Holy Cross Catholic Mortuary.

Brown also recognized Rev. Kieran Kleczewski, pastor of St Thomas Aquinas Parish in Avondale, for his guidance, support and donation of several pieces of artwork. He recognized and thanked the City of Avondale Mayor, Council, management and engineering departments for their support and assistance with the project.

The facility was designed by Vehr Webb Studio Architects & Artists, Phoenix, Arizona. Wespac Construction of Phoenix was the general contractor.   Sue Urban, Studio4Design, served as the projects interior decorator. Dean Dwyer of Studio Productions in Tempe and Pickel Studios in Vero Beach, Florida, were commissioned to provide the artwork. Other members of the design team included civil engineers Vesecky Engineering & Surveying, Scottsdale; landscape architect Todd & Associates, Phoenix; structural engineer A.V. Schwan & Associates, Phoenix; mechanical engineer Kunka Engineering and electrical engineer Woodward Engineering, Phoenix.


For more information about the new Holy Cross Mortuary or for photo opportunities, contact Gary L. Brown at (602) 267-1329.