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The Sisters of St. Joseph, TOSF Announce the Option of Natural Burial for Members

As Franciscans we recognize the beauty and oneness of all creation knowing that all we do affects everyone and everything. Integral to our Franciscan spirituality is the care of the earth. During the dying process, we care for the sister whose earthly journey is about to be fulfilled and attend to her close companions. Upon her death it is then time to care for the earth who will receive her body in its final resting place. Natural burial is a way to honor Sister Earth since toxic embalming fluids are not used which eventually leech into the ground water system. Cement vaults which take lifetimes to break down are not used.

Natural burial is an acceptable alternative to traditional burial. We return our bodies to the natural cycle of life by choosing to be buried in a simple biodegradable container or shroud without embalming and without a concrete vault. There are no church laws prohibiting natural burial. In fact, it is as old as the funeral rite itself. As described in Scripture, they wrapped Jesus' body in a shroud and laid him in a tomb hewn out of rock.

The site is located within the boundaries of the current cemetery at the Motherhouse, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Plots have also been secured in The Preserve at All Saints Cemetery, Waterford, Michigan.

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