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Service Corporation International Announces the Formation of Catholic Death Care Management Company

HOUSTON, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Service Corporation International (NYSE: SRV) (SCI), the world's largest death care company, announced today the formation of a wholly-owned subsidiary, SCI Christian Funeral Services, Inc. (Christian Funeral Services), dedicated to the management of funeral homes, cemeteries, and related assets for Catholic dioceses throughout North America. Christian Funeral Services will be managed and guided by church and industry leaders chosen for their expertise in religious funeral traditions and financial management. It has been formed to bring Catholic funeral service management closer to the church, offering a resource through which church leaders can more effectively carry out their traditional role in the funeral ministry.

The chairman of Christian Funeral Services' board is Matthew J. Lamb, internationally-known artist and a respected leader in the Chicago Catholic community. In addition to his work in the arts, Lamb is also chairman of Blake-Lamb Funeral Homes, Inc., the largest family-managed funeral home group in the Midwest and an SCI affiliate since 1987. A past treasurer of the Catholic Church Extension Society, Lamb's lay religious honors include Papal Knighthoods in the Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. His fellow board members include John W. Morrow, Jr., SCI executive vice president of corporate development and a 40-year veteran of the funeral and cemetery business; and John J. Quinn, Jr., former owner of Quinn Funeral Services in New Jersey, a licensed funeral director since 1951, and a member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Patrick's Guard of Honor, and Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.

As Christian Funeral Services works to ensure adherence to church traditions, rituals, and ethical standards, the company and its directors will be assisted by an advisory board composed of members of the Clergy and Catholic funeral and cemetery professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Reverend Robert L. Kealy, a Catholic priest for 25 years who is also a civil lawyer and expert in canon law, will serve as Chairman of the Advisory Board.

Initial project: one of North America's largest

Christian Funeral Services' first project involves Centre funeraire Cote-des-Neiges, a new mortuary of vast proportions nearing completion in Montreal, Quebec. Initially begun by an independent developer of death care facilities and purchased before completion by an SCI subsidiary, the structure is, at 66,000 square feet, one of the largest funeral homes in North America, capable of assisting more than 3,000 families per year. It is located on the grounds of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, a 343-acre cemetery founded in 1855 and owned by the Fabrique de la Paroisse Notre-Dame de Montreal. During 1996, Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery served in excess of 5,500 families.

The funeral home stands on land that is owned by and leased from Fabrique de la Paroisse Notre-Dame de Montreal. Through an agreement between Christian Funeral Services and Fabrique de la Paroisse Notre-Dame de Montreal, Christian Funeral Services will operate Centre funeraire Cote-des-Neiges for a period of 50 years.

The Centre funeraire Cote-des-Neiges was founded on a spirit of open- mindedness as the desire to respect society's evolving attitude toward death by addressing its need for change, Centre funeraire Cote-des-Neiges offers services that are specially adapted to every culture and religion, as well as to the individual needs of those who want to personalize the rituals enshrining their death.

As of June 30, 1997, SCI affiliates operated 3,012 funeral service locations, 365 cemeteries and 156 crematoria. SCI provides funeral and cemetery services in North America, Europe and the Pacific Rim. SCI's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's ticker symbol is SRV.
SOURCE Service Corporation International
CONTACT: Todd Matherne, Vice President Investor Relations of Service Corporation International, 713-525-5243