ARCHDIOCESE OF OKLAHOMA CITY

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The original Diocese of Oklahoma was founded in 1905. It became the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa in 1930, and the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City in 1972. Made up of more than 120,000 Catholics in central and western Oklahoma, the Archdiocese encompassed 46 counties and more than 42,000 square miles of the Sooner State. 
As part of their ministry to the faithful and community, the Brothers of St. Joseph opened Resurrection Memorial Cemetery in 1960. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City purchased Resurrection Memorial Cemetery from the Brothers in the late 1970’s. 

Challenges

Resurrection is a busy cemetery in a growing region, conducting approximately 350 services per year. As with virtually every similar organization in the country, traditional burials have been declining in number as cremation has become the more popular choice. Resurrection has adapted to these changes, developing mausoleums, columbaria, and cremation gardens. 
Originally established at 34 acres (with 5 acres currently undeveloped), Resurrection was down to 50 spaces in a mausoleum that dated to the early 1980’s and was experiencing growing demand. Given the space constraints and the cultural shift toward cremation – combined with a growing population – Resurrection made the decision to add a fourth mausoleum on Cemetery grounds. They chose the name “Our Lady of Sorrows”. 

 It’s increasingly rare – virtually anywhere in the US - that a cemetery can find adjacent, unoccupied land to purchase for use in traditional burials. This is the primary driver for the construction of new building on cemetery property - to increase capacity for cremation and crypt entombment. 

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 Branden T. Seid, Executive Director, Resurrection Memorial Cemetery 

Solution - crypt3d

It was during the initial planning stages that Branden T. Seid, the Cemetery’s Executive Director, was introduced to Behar Mapping, the creator of Crypt3D. The final plan called for 992 casket crypts (including both indoor and outdoor) and 716 niches, each configurable for one or two urns. 

A powerful cloud-based visualization solution, Crypt3D enabled highly detailed pre-construction visualization of the new mausoleum as soon as the final design had been completed. This kind of detailed visualization gives customers views of any section of the facility from any angle and includes details of any feature visible from any niche or crypt.

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At Seid’s request, Behar rendered an image of an exquisite new mosaic commissioned by Resurrection for installation on one of the mausoleum’s interior walls. This image of the beautiful “Pietà” – honoring and portraying Mary as “the lady of sorrows,” had an immediate impact on customers seeing the virtual image within Crypt 3D. Even though the mosaic existed only in that image, the locations nearby immediately became among the most desirable.

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 We know that the optimal way to serve people is to help them plan before the need occurs, and It was clear our space constraint would only increase. Then the pandemic struck, but we were determined to be find a way to continue helping people make the best planning decisions. Behar’s Crypt 3D arrived at the perfect time and has been the ideal solution to the combined challenges we were facing. 

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 Branden T. Seid, Executive Director, Resurrection Memorial Cemetery 

Results

Results from the Crypt3D implementation became clear very quickly.

Prior to Crypt3D, Seid’s staff was dealing with paper maps. In some cases, very old hand-drawn maps of

above-ground facilities. Since implementation, customers, visitors, staff and board members see beautiful,

full-color, detail-rich, 100% accurate images. 
With the increasing scarceness of space, Seid was eager to have Crypt3D available in order to show the new facility in planning meetings. The cemetery staff wanted to continue to serve families in a seamless way, despite potential shortages of space. Not only that but planning meetings could include views of new and beautiful facilities in eye-catching visualizations that could be rotated and explored from every angle. 

Even Seid was surprised by the results. Pre-planned sales in 2020 increased by more than 40% over 2019. Revenue from sales of spaces in Our Lady of Sorrows reached $300,000 before the building was even completed. The sale of new crypts alone increased fifteen-fold during that period.

 Not only has Crypt3D equipped us to better serve those in need, the revenue impact has been almost as impressive. We wouldn’t have achieved half the pre-need sales revenue we did without Crypt3D. 

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 Branden T. Seid, Executive Director, Resurrection Memorial Cemetery