Raymond Capo, director of cemetery maintenance for the Diocese of Bridgeport, is in charge of overseeing both St. Augustine's Cemetery and the 100-acre St. Michael's Cemetery in Stratford.
St. Augustine's Cemetery used to be managed by its namesake parish.But at some point, Capo
says, it came under the Diocese's care.
"The Diocese mows the cemetery.That is all that we are responsible for there," Capo
says."The headstones are the property of the families who bought them, not the cemetery."Capo
did not have an answer as to who might be responsible if the dearly departed don't have any descendents to look after their graves.He
believes that some of the oldest gravestones that have toppled and which now lie several inches below the ground were either not properly installed or were erected without the benefit of a foundation deep enough to support them.
Groundskeeping for St. Augustine's Cemetery is paid for through the Diocese's Perpetual Care Fund, a portion, usually 10 percent of the sale of a gravesite is deposited in an interest-bearing account that pays for trimming the grass.Exactly how much money the Diocese has for Perpetual Care at St. Augustine's Cemetery is unknown, Capo
says getting a figure "would involve some research" and he
was unsure how much time it would take him or when he
might have those figures available.
In 1993, the Diocese spent $2,700 replacing a chain link fence at the cemetery.But that fence isn't keeping anybody out these days.
"We fix things like the fence and people come along and tear holes in it," Capo