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Alden 124

(October 2012)

Cemetery of the Church of St. Peter the Apostle.

Catholicism and Portuguese national identity are closely tied together at the Cape end, as even the briefest stroll through the 12-acre Cemetery of the Church of St. Peter the Apostle will reveal, on headstones carved with names like Avellar, Cabral, Cordeiro, Corea, Costa, Duarte, Dutra, Ferreira, Flores, Lopes, Macara, Santos, Silva, Souza, and Taves. The land was acquired in 1869, even before the church was built. It is owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River. Renovations of the cemetery were begun in 1952, during the pastorate of Msgr. Leo Duart, who also bequeathed money for the construction of the cemetery chapel, which opened in 1976. The sculptural scene of Calvary (pictured) was donated by the Rev. Manuel Terra. — From Building Provincetown.


Even before there was a church on Prince Street, there was a Roman Catholic cemetery. The land was acquired in 1869, on behalf of the Diocese of Boston, by the Rev. Cornelius O’Connor, who also laid out the grounds. When the Diocese of Providence, R.I., was separated from Boston in 1872, St. Peter’s Church — and ownership of the cemetery — came along. But in 1904, Pope Pius X created the Diocese of Fall River, which included Barnstable County, and the Bishop of Fall River continues to own these 12 acres. Reflecting the parish makeup, the headstones speak poignantly of Portuguese Provincetown. Renovations of the cemetery were begun in 1952 by Monsignor Leo J. Duart, who also bequeathed money for the construction of the cemetery chapel, which opened in 1976. The sculptural scene of Calvary near the chapel was donated by the Rev. Manuel C. Terra, a former pastor.

¶ Last updated on 25 April 2015.

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