St. Mary Catholic Church in Huntley looking to expand cemetery

The parish’s current cemetery on Dean Street is near capacity, the parish says

With the St. Mary Catholic Church’s current cemetery on Dean Street in Huntley nearing capacity, the parish is considering adding a cemetery to its property on Dundee Road.

Church officials submitted a concept review to the Huntley Village Board last week that proposes using 2.45 acres of the parish’s existing property for a new cemetery, according to village documents. It also includes a plan to buy land on property adjacent to the church for future cemetery expansion.

“A large number of Huntley residents are Catholic and we believe that this new cemetery would be a valuable addition to the Huntley community,” St. Mary’s pastor, the Rev. Christopher DiTomo, wrote in a letter to village officials.

DiTomo declined to elaborate further to the Northwest Herald about the church’s cemetery plans.

The parish currently has a cemetery on Dean Street next to the village-owned Huntley Cemetery. However, village documents indicate the St. Mary’s portion of the cemetery is out of gravesites and has a few niches left.

The parish’s plan calls for two phases of cemetery development. In the first phase, the parish would use green space south of the church and parish offices on land already owned by the parish for a new cemetery. This land would have space for 1,444 gravesites and 496 niches, according to documents. It also would create a section specifically for infants, bring the new cemetery’s capacity to 2,102 spaces.

A driveway through the cemetery and a central alter are also part of the proposal. Access to the cemetery would be available from the north off Dundee Road and the south off Kreutzer Road, similar to how the church’s current parking lot is accessed.

St. Mary also is considering a second phase for the cemetery. The parish is interested in buying 12.75 acres of the former Kreutzer farm, which is directly east of the parish’s property. Village documents show it would use a portion of that land for cemetery expansion, but additional details about how the cemetery would be expanded and the parish’s plans for the remainder of the property were not available to the village.

“Our primary objective, however, is to begin to develop a new cemetery on our current land. The demand for a new cemetery here at St. Mary is great,” DiTomo wrote.

The parish has had several construction projects in the past 20 years, beginning with construction of a new sanctuary in 2001. Most recently, the parish completed construction on new parish offices in 2019.

Additional action by the Village Board would be needed to allow the parish’s plans to move forward, including amending the parish’s development agreement with the village and issuing a permit for a cemetery.

Ben Szalinski

Ben Szalinski

Ben reports on local news in Harvard, Marengo, Huntley and Lake in the Hills along with the McHenry County Board. He graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield Public Affairs Reporting program in 2021. Ben is originally from Mundelein and enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with friends and family.