Situated atop one of Waterbury's highest elevations, Calvary Cemetery - named after the site of the Crucifixion - is the city's second Catholic cemetery. It opened in 1892 to accommodate a rapidly growing Catholic population. Consisting of less than 10 families in 1832, Catholics numbered about 6000 in 1892 - more than half of the city's total population. From the cemetery's highest point, the visitor can get a panoramic view of Waterbury's surrounding hills.
Backstory and Context
Calvary Cemetery is associated with the parish of the Immaculate Conception. According to Joseph Anderson's The Town and City of Waterbury, "The first interment in Calvary cemetery was that of Thomas Harry, infant son of P. J. Bolan, June 22, 1892" (v. III, 782).
Immaculate began as an Irish Catholic parish. It's most famous congregant is Father Michael McGivney, who was born in Waterbury in 1852. He was ordained a priest in Baltimore in 1877. Five years later, he founded the Knights of Columbus. He died in 1890 in nearby Thomaston, unfortunately, two years too early to be interred at Calvary. In October 2020, McGivney was beatified by Pope Francis. Waterbury's native son may someday be its native Saint.
Anderson, Joseph. The Town and City of Waterbury Connecticut, from the Aboriginal Period to the Year Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-Five. Vol. III. New Haven, CT. The Price & Lee Company, 1896.