Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

St. Oliver Plunkett Church, Snellville, completed the columbarium and memorial garden this year, with the hard work of its parishioners over the past 27 months. The initial phase was built to hold 150 niches.


New columbarium and memorial garden dedicated at St. Oliver’s

Published August 3, 2018

SNELLVILLE—Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory blessed the columbarium and memorial garden at St. Oliver Plunkett Church, on May 13, immediately following the 11:15 a.m. Mass at the Snellville church.

The project of building the columbarium and the garden started in 2016 with the approval of La Salette Father John Welch, who was then the pastor, and the current pastor, Father Cyriac Mattathilanickal, MS, continued the project with his own blessing.

Throughout the 27 months of work, from conceptual design through construction, committee members Roger Bacik, John Davidson, Ken Cuevas and chairperson Paul Ruder continued to drive the project. Also of assistance were Dennis Kelly, of Catholic Construction Services, Inc.; Brad Wilson, CFO for the archdiocese; Deacon Ray Egan, who provides guidance for Catholic cemeteries and columbariums; and Pat Bulger, business manager for the parish.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, right center, celebrated Mass and blessed the new columbarium and memorial garden May 13 at St. Oliver Plunkett Church. Among those on hand to mark the occasion were the pastor, Father Cyriac Mattathilanickal, MS, left center, and many of the Snellville church’s parishioners.

Ruder said that the benefactors for the project included Terry Owens, proprietor of Bec-Don, Inc., for the donation of the reinforcing steel used in the structure; 13 volunteers who helped with the installation of the niches; the St. Oliver’s Garden Club members who designed and planted the shrubbery around the garden; the St. Oliver’s WinGs (Women in God’s Service) group for their monetary donation towards the shrubbery; the parish finance council for their guidance; and all those who provided “sweat equity” in one way or another.

The initial phase of the Memorial Garden was built to hold 150 niches, and the columbarium is available to anyone who is interested in purchasing a niche.

Ruder said, “There is ample room for expansion of our memorial garden, and that is our hope for the future.”

For more information, contact Pat Bulger, business manager, at 770-979-2500, ext. 29, or email