Published June 18, 2021
Another phase of expansion for Calvary Cemetery at St. Mary Church in Hot Springs was completed May 27, when masonry around the new memorial prayer garden was completed.
A major feature of the garden is a path of 59 stepping stones that make up a large rosary adjacent to the cemetery’s two new columbaria. Each stone, $150 each, is engraved with names of the people or family members who purchased the stone. The “Our Father” is printed on the stones in the place of the “Our Father” beads.
Also completed were stone planters, benches and a small stone wall surrounding the garden. A new 12-foot-wide, stone-edged gravel service road runs beside the garden. The garden is covered in Ouachita River rock.
Diane Pollock, Calvary Cemetery administrator and office manager of St. Mary Church, said now that the current phase is completed, shrubs will be planted in and around the garden. A member of St. Mary is making a weather-resistant crucifix to be installed at the end of the stepping-stone rosary. A statue of Mary will be erected in the center.
The garden is part of a cemetery expansion program that allows approximately 800 new grave sites, including 320 potential spaces for urns holding cremated remains in a columbarium. There are approximately 2,000 grave sites in the original part of the cemetery that was founded Feb. 1, 1881.
The expanded part of the cemetery was consecrated by Bishop Anthony B. Taylor Nov. 2. 2019, during an All Souls Day Mass and ceremony. The expansion project began in 2015 when the Calvary Cemetery board received $200,000 from the trust of Ruth H. Tobey of Miller, Mo., to expand and beautify Calvary Cemetery.