Archdiocese of Chicago

Human Resources
:: Employment and Service Opportunities

Opportunities at Archbishop Quigley Center / Cardinal Meyer Center / Other Pastoral Center Departments

Posted 10/23/2018

Job Title:

Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries


Executive Services




Full time


Be part of our mission. The Archdiocese of Chicago (“the Archdiocese”), the third largest Catholic Archdiocese in the United States, serves more than 2.2 million Catholics in 344 parishes in Cook and Lake Counties. The Archdiocese's 217 elementary and secondary schools comprise the largest U.S. private school system, and have garnered more U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards than any system of any type. The Archdiocese, pastored by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, has more than 15,000 employees.


Position Summary

In coordination with the Archdiocesan Director, the Executive Director of Catholic Cemeteries ensures that the ancient Corporal Work of Mercy of burying the dead, and the Spiritual Work of Mercy of praying for the living and the dead, are provided to the people in the Archdiocese of Chicago through its Catholic Cemeteries’ ministry.


  • The Executive Director, as the principal lay executive officer of the Catholic Cemeteries, exercises full responsibility, as delegated by the Archdiocesan Director, for creation, administration and adherence to all policies and procedures of the Catholic Cemeteries.
  • The Executive Director reports to the Archdiocesan Director of Catholic Cemeteries, advising him of any and all key administrative and operational developments.  The direct reports are the Directors of Administrative Services, Cemetery Services, Information Services, Operational Services and Technical Services.  Staff meetings are held to share information, participate in decision-making and coordinate activities to achieve goals and objectives.
  • The Executive Director serves as a primary and /or secondary contact to the Archdiocesan Director for contact with the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center and its key leadership.
  • In consultation with the Division Directors, the Executive Director prepares and executes both a long term and short-term strategic plan for the Catholic Cemeteries and takes appropriate action to attain them.  These plans are then shared with appropriate staff for total participation and achievement.
  • The Executive Director with assistance from the Director of Administrative Services, reviews, approves and coordinates all financial matters of the Catholic Cemeteries, including but not limited to: financial reports as needed, an annual and long term budget including capital projects, an annual audit, any and all governmental reports and oversight of employee payroll and benefits. 
  • The Executive Director, with assistance from the Director of Cemetery Services, reviews, approves and coordinates a sales and marketing plan for the Catholic Cemeteries, including proper inventory control along with a fair and competitive pricing structure.  Approval includes a marketing plan and budget that is appropriate and in keeping with Catholic traditions.
  • The Executive Director, with assistance from the Director of Information Services, reviews, approves and coordinates a State mandated record keeping system that includes the name of the deceased, burial location and other pertinent information.  Information Services provides the Executive Director with other statistical information to assist in decision-making concerning the overall operation of the Catholic Cemeteries. 
  • The Executive Director, with assistance from the Director of Operational Services, reviews, approves and coordinates the proper staffing and equipment needs of the Catholic Cemeteries on a short and long term basis; thus establishing the structure and discharge of cemetery functions.  Of primary concern to the Executive Director is that all interments and entombments are made accurately, safely, timely and to the satisfaction of the grieving family.
  • The Executive Director, with assistance from the Director of Technical Services, reviews, approves and coordinates plans for the current and future structural and developmental needs of the Catholic Cemeteries, as well as caring for all existing grounds and buildings. As such the Executive Director, acting with the Archbishop’s Power of Attorney (POA), is the executor of any and all contracts that are called for in the operations of the Catholic Cemeteries.  The Executive Director may also be involved in the selection of an architect, artisan or construction company for a Catholic Cemetery project.
  • The Executive Director shall maintain a working knowledge of any and all legislative matters and laws affecting the Catholic Cemeteries.  This is needed on the local, state and national level.  As such the Executive Director is in communication with the Illinois Catholic Conference for additional assistance and information.  The Executive Director is often contacted by legislators seeking opinion and information on cemetery matters.
  • The Executive Director, along with the Archdiocesan Director, shall maintain a positive and working relationship with the clergy of the Archdiocese and various Funeral Director Associations as well as individual funeral directors to build trust.  The same type of relationship should also exist with the local monument dealers.
  • The Executive Director is the chief labor negotiator.  As such, the Executive Director is also responsible for all dealings with the Union as outlined in the Labor Agreement (including but not limited to: adherence, interpretation, grievances).  Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – Local 1 currently represents the field staff.
  • As Chicago is the Provincial Diocese in the State of Illinois, the Executive Director of the Catholic Cemeteries of Chicago serves as a contact to the state’s other Diocesan Directors of Catholic Cemeteries concerning best practices in cemetery operations.
  • Death is a legal matter, and as such the Executive Director of the Catholic Cemeteries should have a working knowledge of requirements and laws concerning the interment, disinterment, transportation and disposition of human remains whether full body or cremated.
  • The Executive Director should take an active role in participation in cemetery related associations to keep current on new trends and practices in the death care industry.  The Catholic Cemetery Conference (CCC), International Cemetery, Crematory, Funeral Home Association (ICCFA), the Alliance of Illinois Cemeteries (AIC), Cremation Association of North America (CANA) and Metropolitan Chicago Cemetery Officials (MCCO) are examples of these associations.
  • The Executive Director shall care for all property, and as such should have a working knowledge of real estate.  Currently the Catholic Cemeteries oversees 45 cemeteries, 16 with permanent staffs, 2 landfills and a number of parcels for future cemetery development that are currently leased (e.g. farms, golf courses).



To carry out the assigned responsibilities, the Executive Director must have a competence and / or knowledge in the following areas:

  • Business administration and management
  • Organizational development and planning
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Staff development and employee relations
  • Labor negotiations
  • Salary administration and benefit planning
  • Auditing, accounting and budgeting
  • Public relations and advertisement
  • Sales and pricing
  • Real estate development and management
  • Building construction and maintenance
  • Civil, cemetery and canon law
  • Systems and procedures – statistics and charts
  • Legislative and governmental relations
  • Purchasing and bidding procedures
  • Office management: layout, equipment and furnishings
  • Establishing and executing short and long term goals
  • Master’s in Business Administration.  Consideration may be given to a person lacking the academic requirements who has a proven record of equivalent experience
  • Various classes or workshops in areas (law, real estate) mentioned above
  • Demonstrate progressive experience in supervising multiple locations with a combined staff of 260 employees: unionized field (150) and non-unionized office staff (110)
  • Proven leadership should be demonstrated through accomplishments in prior work, community, church, fraternal or professional organizations
  • Proven ability to develop and coordinate teamwork across various units and divisions
  • Faith based operation that involves providing a sensitive service
  • Must be dedicated to the work at hand
  • Mature in judgment, while being affable and tactful
  • Ability to speak and write effectively in both oral and written fashion
  • Self-starter who can produce a large volume of work under pressure
  • Practicing Catholic and familiarity with Catholic teachings and traditions


The Archdiocese of Chicago offers an attractive salary and comprehensive benefit package including medical, dental, vision and 403(b) retirement plan.  In addition, we offer paid vacation, holiday, sick and personal time.

If you are interested in being considered for this opening, please visit the list of open positions on AppliTrack. Please complete a letter of interest, a profile, or submit your resume.

Thank you for your interest in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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