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Memorial Garden

St. Michael’s Cemetery, Duryea


A Memorial Prayer Garden was dedicated and blessed on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at St. Michaels Cemetery, Duryea.  The memorial was planned, designed and constructed by Eagle Scout Michael Cherasaro, a young member and altar server at St. Michaels Church.  Michael is a member of Boy Scout Troop 339.    Click here for a description of the project.

The Memorial Garden is a beautiful addition to this consecrated ground, making use of the natural setting in giving honor to all who served throughout all military branchesThe memorial also recognizes those designated as P.O.W. or M.I.A.  There are five medallions, two benches and a painted cement statue honoring all veterans.

Up close view of wooden shrine

As seen in the photos, a small wooden shrine was created.

The shrine is reminiscent of roadside prayer shrines present in the Carpatho-Rusyn region – the homeland of our first parish members and church founders.   Many of the first parishioners of St. Michaels are buried in this cemetery along with their descendants who are among the veterans remembered.

As a prayer alcove, the area is a place for those visiting the cemetery to reflect on the sacrifices of their loved ones, of all veterans and those who died in service to our country to protect our freedom.

The wood shrine houses a reproduction of an icon of St. Michael embracing our church as protector and defender.  Now, St. Michael watches over our cemetery and resting place of our loved ones.


A plaque inscribed with a petition for all the souls in purgatory and all faithful completes the memorial in respect to all in continual need of prayer and remembrance.

Very Rev. Gary Mensinger, pastor of St. Michaels parish, blessed the memorial and project leader Michael and everyone present at the dedication.   The autumn leaves, natural backdrop of trees and setting sun provided a fitting ambience for the short prayer service.

We thank Michael for his hard work and commitment to this beautiful addition to our cemetery and congratulate him on attaining the honor of Eagle Scout as a result of this and all his work.    We wish him continued success in each of his future pursuits and goals.

Parishioners listen as prayers are offered
Dedication included blessing with holy water
Father Gary confers a blessing also on Michael
Completed Memorial
“Along the path of life our God is our hope and faithful guide”