"It's just disrespectful:" Families upset over the condition of Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery
Posted at 5:26 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 19:41:36-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's a place Kevin Lorance has been to many times before — the cemetery where most of his family has been laid to rest.

"We came here often when we were children," said Lorance.

And yet, he struggled to find their grave markers.

"I’m a little disoriented," Lorance said, "because I remember it was by the steps."

That's because Calvary Cemetery has never looked quite like this before.

"I think the majority of it appears to be unkept," he said.

Lorance is among several families that have taken their grievances to Facebook and elsewhere, complaining of ankle-deep grass, fallen tree limbs and even broken tombstones.

"At the very least, they could mow the grass, you know?" said Lorance. "How hard is it to get that fixed?"

He thinks that all of it has cast a pall of disrespect in a place created for the exact opposite.

"People are very, very upset," said Lorance, fighting back tears. "It’s my parents and grandparents that raised me."

Calvary Cemetery is maintained by the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, who say they are aware of the problems and are working to fix them.

"We have clearly had a problem with our longtime groundskeeping service," said Rick Musacchio, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Nashville.

Musacchio says their groundskeeping service is struggling, like a lot of other businesses, to maintain proper staffing. Not to mention, those who do show up, have hard work ahead.

"Hills to go around, old trees to go around, and certainly the monuments that are in place. It takes a real level of hands-on work to do that," said Musacchio.

But the Diocese still wants to make things right.

"We’ve taken steps to bring in supplemental crews, supplemental services, and we’re working towards a more stable long-term solution to address the issues moving forward," he said.

NewsChannel 5 did see some of those supplemental crews out working Wednesday morning, but they have a long way to go until the grounds are back in proper condition.

All Lorance is asking for is a little respect.

"I think they’ve totally failed in their duty to maintain these grounds here," said Lorance.