The Roman Catholic Community of
Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

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 Most Holy Trinity Cemetery


Most Holy Trinity Cemetery an integral part of Trinity for most of the church's proud history, is no longer  administered by the parish.  Many, if not most of those who are interred in the cemetery, had lived and raised their families in our neighborhood; they had worshiped in our church building and had called Trinity “home.”   The cemetery is now under the care of Catholic Cemeteries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.  We continue to honor the memory of those buried in our cemetery;  we continue to pray for their souls.  It should be noted that the parish also had another cemetery, known as Trinity Cemetery, located in Amityville, New York;  it too is now under the care of Catholic Cemeteries.     May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen. 

Click here to go the Catholic Cemeteries web site:

Catholic Cemeteries maintains ten cemeteries covering nearly 1,100 acres throughout Brooklyn and Queens, as well as in Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, New York.

The cemeteries under the care of Catholic Cemeteries are: St. John's Cemetery, Middle Village, Mount St. Mary's Cemetery, Flushing, Holy Cross Cemetery, Brooklyn, Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Brooklyn, St. Charles/Resurrection Cemeteries, Farmingdale, Long Island, Trinity Cemetery, Amityville, Long Island, St. Mary Star of the Sea Cemetery, Lawrence, St. Monica Cemetery, Jamaica, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Astoria.

Click here for Directions to Most Holy Trinity Cemetery (in pdf format)

Are you searching for cemetery records?

Our parish cemeteries (Most Holy Trinity Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY and Trinity Cemetery, Amityville, Long Island, NY) are under the care of Catholic Cemeteries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.  Please direct all inquiries to the Cemeteries Office at the office address listed below.  We do not maintain any burial or cemetery records in our parish office.

The History of Most Holy Trinity Cemetery

The original Most Holy Trinity Cemetery was erected in 1841 and was located on the Montrose Avenue property in Williamsburg. Fr. John Stephen Raffeiner, the parish’s first pastor, purchased with his own money a parcel of the Abraham Meserole farm that had previously occupied much of the surrounding area. Fr. Raffeiner built the first church and established the cemetery on land that had been part of the Meserole farm. The exact location of the cemetery was roughly where the present school building and neighboring yard are located (on the part of the property that now houses Saints Joseph and Dominic Catholic Academy). In 1851, the Fr. Raffeiner and his parishioners decided to begin the campaign for the construction of a new and larger church building (the second church). It was decided that the new church had to be built on the land that was at the time serving as the parish cemetery. As a result, Fr. Raffeiner purchased, for $1,025.00, a four acre parcel of the Evergreen Cemetery, located at the end of Central Avenue in Ridgewood, that would serve as the new Most Holy Trinity Cemetery. That same year, the mortal remains of those who had been buried at the Montrose Avenue site were respectfully transferred to the new cemetery. The cornerstone of the second church building was laid in June of 1853 and the building was completed in February of 1854 (only to be torn down in 1887, after the construction of the third church, and in order to make room for the parish school building that stands to this day). In later years, and in order to accommodate the growing need for burial space for parishioners of Most Holy Trinity, additional and adjacent parcels of the Evergreen Cemetery were purchased by the parish's second pastor, Msgr. Michael May. An interesting feature of the cemetery is that nearly all of its original monuments were made of metal--from the earliest days, stone monuments were not allowed because no distinctions were permitted to be made between the rich and the poor.  The parish administered the cemetery on Central Avenue for one-hundred and thirty years until 1981 when it was incorporated by and came under the care of Catholic Cemeteries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

An Historical Footnote:

Fr. John Stephen Raffeiner died on July 16, 1861.  He was buried three days later in the parish cemetery on Central Avenue, where his mortal remains rested for thirty-four years.  Upon the death of Msgr. Michael May, who died on February 11, 1895, the remains of Fr. Raffeiner were transferred back to Montrose Avenue. The two priests, Raffeiner and May, the first two pastors of this great parish, have rested alongside each other ever since in a crypt located under the narthex of Most Holy Trinity Church.   Click here to see the crypt of the church

The entrance to Most Holy Trinity Cemetery as it looked as early as 1921 (this photo appeared in the parish's 100th anniversary booklet).


Most Holy Trinity Cemetery
685 Central Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11207

Click here to see a map of the cemetery


Our parish cemetery is now under the care of
Catholic Cemeteries of the
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn


Please direct all inquiries to:

Customer Service Department
Catholic Cemeteries
80-01 Metropolitan Avenue
Middle Village, New York  11379
Telephone: 718-894-4888
Fax: 718-326-4105

Jesus said:
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me,
even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives
and believes in me
will never die.”


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Some photos from Most Holy Trinity Cemetery: 

This monument is located over the tomb containing the remains of former pastors of Most Holy Trinity Church.   The remains of Fr. John Stephen Raffeiner, the first pastor, were taken from here, where they had rested for thirty-four years, and were re-interred in the church's crypt in 1895.

Inscribed on the base of the monument are the names of former pastors of Trinity.  Listed on the front are the Very Rev. John Stephen Raffeiner and the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Michael May (the first two pastors who are actually entombed in the crypt under the church on Montrose Avenue), the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Peter Dauffenbach (the third pastor), the Rev. Frederick M. Schneider (the fourth pastor) and the Rev. George M. Dorman (the sixth pastor).  Listed on the side of the monument (not visible in the photo) are the Rev. George S. Herget (the seventh pastor) and the Rt. Rev. Monsignor George A. Metzger, VF (the fifth pastor).

The entrance to Most Holy Trinity Cemetery as it looked in October of 2005.  Note the difference between the gate as shown in this photo and in the one taken as early as 1921 (shown near the top of this page).

The tracks of the "L" train and the "Wilson Avenue" station of the New York City subway system border the southwestern edge of the cemetery.  A Canarsie bound train is pictured here as it passes and slows to stop at Wilson Avenue.

The Cemetery
(Author Unknown)

Lives are commemorated--Deaths are recorded--Families are reunited--Memories are made tangible--And love is undisguised. This is a Cemetery.

Communities accord respect. Families bestow reverence. Historians seek information and our heritage is thereby enriched.

Testimonies of devotion, pride and remembrance are cast in bronze to pay warm tribute to accomplishments and to the life--not the death--of a loved one. The Cemetery is homeland for memorials that are a sustaining source of comfort to the living.

A Cemetery is a history of people--a perpetual record of yesterday and a sanctuary of peace and quiet today. A Cemetery exists because every life is worth loving and remembering--Always.

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Last Updated: Thursday September 09, 2010 11:39 AM

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