Lazarus Ministry

St. Anthony’s Lazarus Ministry

Honoring Death With Dignity

SAS-Lazarus1At St. Anthony Shrine, we are honored to be able to provide burials for those people we never really think about, such as the homeless, the poor, those who die alone or whose family cannot afford funeral services. With the assistance of local funeral directors, such as Dolan Funeral Services, J.S. Waterman & Sons and Casper Funeral Homes, among others, St. Anthony Shrine has provided funeral services and Masses for many of Boston’s most needy.

St. Anthony Shrine offers its services free of charge, including its facilities, Mass of Christian Burial and Meeting Room Space for Funeral Luncheons. In addition, the Shrine provides graves for those who would otherwise be buried in a pauper’s grave, and pays for the cost of opening and closing the grave before and after burial. Other services may include clothing for the deceased and families, flowers and continued support for family and friends.

Relying on many donors, St. Anthony Shrine has had many graves donated to the Lazarus Ministry by families and those interested in our cause. These graves are located in many Boston area cemeteries, including Mt. Calvary and New Calvary Cemeteries. Though it is gracious that many graves are donated, the need far outweighs the availability of graves. The Lazarus Ministry’s biggest challenge is finding enough graves available, through donations or purchases, to offer each person a dignified resting place. In addition, Headstones have still yet to be placed on many of the graves, as the cost is very prohibitive.

Open To All

The Lazarus Ministry is open to all who are in need, no matter their faith, poor economic status or standing in life. All Are Welcome at St. Anthony Shrine, and the Lazarus Ministry. In the past we have helped many people of different religions, and even those who have freshly immigrated to the United States only to die within their first few days in the country. There are times when the homeless, or those without families, are held at the Medical Examiners Office for over a year, only to finally find the Lazarus Ministry as their means to a dignified funeral. We have also been the only representatives of homeless Veterans at their funeral at the Veterans Cemetery in Bourne, MA. As Taps is played by a Military Cadet, the flag that once draped the coffin of the homeless Veteran is passed on to the Priest who now becomes the sole friend of the deceased Veteran.

The Lazarus Ministry continues to honor all of those we have helped with a dignified burial in the past by offering a “Remembrance Mass” on the third Wednesday of November.

Whether through a dignified and proper burial, or helping families cope with the death of a loved one, St. Anthony Shrine is dedicated to the entire person, in death and in life. We pledge to be there for those who have died alone, so we can be there “standing beside their casket.”

More Information

For more information on the Lazarus Ministry at St. Anthony Shrine, please contact Julie Ogden at 617-542-6440 Ext. 146 ( to request a Lazarus Brochure. Lazarus Brochures are also available in the Shrine lobby.