Mausoleum of SS. Peter & Paul one of the nation’s finest final resting places


The faithful in the Diocese of Providence have one of the finest and most beautiful mausoleums available of any across the nation to consider when choosing a final resting place.
Rhode Island is a state where the majority of its population is Catholic, so the diocese has more than 125 churches and 32 cemeteries. And even though Rhode Island is the smallest state in our country, our diocese of the 15th largest in the country.
With no mausoleum space available, and no room for additions to previously constructed mausoleums, the Diocese of Providence ventured into a new area of their busiest cemetery for a project never seen in its 147 years in the building of SS. Peter & Paul Mausoleum at St. Ann Cemetery in Cranston in 2021.
Much went into the planning of its elaborate construction.
Four very nice designs were submitted with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, but two really struck a chord. One, was a building matching St. Ann Church, which is right outside the main gate of the cemetery, so that repeating of architecture from the front, through the rear of the property was a great idea. A second design submitted was a building emulating the Diocese’s historic Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in downtown Providence.
From that point on, everyone who reviewed the designs felt that the cathedral was the best model to emulate. Cemetery Design Associates, from Covington, Louisiana, won the bid. That was probably the easiest part of the entire project.
Having half a dozen outdoor areas of crypts and niches, stained glass could be not used to enhance those areas. This is where the services of Blackstone Cemetery Development were contracted. In also being granite suppliers, they provided five-foot statues of each saint needed to memorialize those areas. These outdoor areas offer three different types of settings. A large open area courtyard in the rear of the building is popular to those who wish to visit in the full sun of day. This is also the part of the building where future development may arise enclosing the area, giving it a true courtyard feeling.
There are two small courtyards tucked into the sides of the building, which give families a sense of privacy while being in an outdoor setting. The third type of area gives a cloistered feeling. Simply removing the proposed windows but leaving the arches throughout would give the now outdoor “corridors” a sense of being sheltered while being outside, thus named the Cloisters of Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Four years from the start of searching for designs, the Mausoleum of SS. Peter & Paul was complete and ready to be dedicated. On June 19, 2021, before a crowd of over 150 people and local media, Bishop Tobin blessed the mausoleum, making the project complete.
As sales continue, a full memorialization program has been established where families can add bronze adornments and ceramic photos to crypts and niche fronts. All artwork within and around the building is available for families to dedicate to their loved ones’ memory. Additionally, all of the areas are decorated with benches for memorialization, flower stands, and brick pavers within landscaped various gardens.
Catholic Cemeteries has made every attempt to give the families of Rhode Island all options possible within the industry, and the Mausoleum of Saints Peter & Paul is a large part of achieving that goal. There are many who contributed to the project outside of the contractors/vendors, especially the CCC network of dioceses that were a huge resource that was always one phone call away or even went as far as hosting us to visit, observe and learn about their successful mausoleums. One of the largest single mausoleums in New England could not have been possible without the continued and unyielding support from the leaders of the Diocese of Providence, including then-Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia Msgr. Albert A. Kenney, Chancellor Father Timothy D. Reilly, Director of Planning and Financial Services Msgr. Raymond B. Bastia and CFO, Michael F. Sabatino. All are leaders who dared to do something never before in the diocese’s history, and for that I am truly grateful.
Anthony Carpinello is the director of Diocesan Cemeteries.