Built to resemble the cathedral in Providence, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on Saturday dedicated the Saints Peter & Paul Mausoleum at St. Ann Cemetery in Cranston. The chapel at the center of the 22,000-square-foot building was near to capacity
Built to resemble the cathedral in Providence, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on Saturday dedicated the Saints Peter & Paul Mausoleum at St. Ann Cemetery in Cranston.
The chapel at the center of the 22,000-square-foot building was near to capacity with 200 people, some of whom may have gotten slightly wet. They didn’t complain. In fact, in was a blessing.
In dedicating the building, the bishop walked the corridors sprinkling holy water. Earlier he spoke of architects, engineers and artisans who designed and built the structure. Construction started in 2018. He singled out Anthony Carpinello, who oversaw the $12.5 million project that incorporates the stained glass windows, mural and even the bell from Our Lady of St. Carmel Church on Federal Hill that was closed in 2015. Corridors in the mausoleum are named after local parishes. Carpinello started on the project more than six years ago. In an interview following the dedication, Carpinello said there is a high level of interest in the mausoleum and that a third of its capacity has already been sold.
He said his goal was to strengthen the bond between cemetery, the church and the diocese, “and I think we’ve accomplished that.”
The mausoleum has spaces for more than 2,000 caskets behind polished marble panels that line corridor walls. In addition, there is space for 700 cremation urns.
Saturday was a celebratory event with many of those attending renewing acquaintances. Many stayed for a light lunch held under a tent to the back of the mausoleum just outside the chapel. Others walked the corridors and conversed with Bishop Tobin.
In his homily, Bishop Tobin described the “majestic building an important part of the Catholic faith.” He said humans are created in the image of God.
“Your body is a temple of the holy spirit. That is why we treat the remains with dignity and respect.”
Text and photos by John Howell