St. John’s Northwestern

Military Academy

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Columbarium?
The Columbarium is a place for final committal of cremated remains (cremains) on dignified and consecrated ground. Dating back to ancient times, the word "columbarium" comes from the translated Latin word meaning "dovecote." The word originated from how doves would nest in small niches in the mountains. The more common use of this word now refers to burial niches, most often above ground or contained within an architectural structure.

What will happen to my cremains if the Academy closes?
The Columbarium is sanctioned and approved as a cemetery according to Wisconsin law and thereby protected by the rules and regulations that govern them. A percentage of each niche purchase is set aside for the perpetual care of the Columbarium.

Why would I want a niche at St. John's Northwestern?
There are many kinds of situations where individuals may want to choose a niche at the Columbarium. We live in a transient society where the average individual moves eleven times over their lifetime. We are able to offer individuals a final resting place that pays tribute to the patriotic, character and spiritual values that are part of our legacy. Each year our Memorial Day services include the reading of the names of our alumni who have lost their lives in service to our country. On Commencement and Reunion Weekend, our graduating seniors pay homage to those alumni who died over the past year by giving a red rose in their honor at the Founders' Memorial Service at St. John's Chrysostom Church.

For those individuals who have already committed to The Columbarium, they have done so because of the deep impact this institution has had on their lives. Because they still consider St. John's Northwestern their home, many could not imagine being buried anywhere else.

If I have burial plans in place and paid for, can I still purchase a niche?
Yes. Several of our alumni have done so and placed special Academy mementos (i.e., class ring, senior photo, ribbons, medals) in their niche.

What are the costs of a niche and the scattering grounds?
The cost of a niche ranges from $2,300-$5,500 depending on the Wall and location that is chosen. The cost to use the scattering grounds is $1,500. A portion (60%) of your niche or scattering ground purchase is tax-deductible.

Are there any extra fees involved when purchasing a niche or the scattering ground for burial purposes?
There are no additional fees. Your purchase of a niche includes a custom bronze niche faceplate or plaque. Your purchase to use the scattering grounds includes an inscribed bronze plate, which is affixed to the stone tablet in the designated scattering grounds area. The Columbarium and scattering ground purchases also include a committal service, music, program, and our Episcopal priest or Chaplain as officiates. Military honors are given to those with military service.