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.
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.
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
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
Brooklyn, New York 11207
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.
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
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.