It was a beautiful church, first established in the early 1800s in the little Canadian village. Over the next two centuries the church building was rebuilt twice. The final structure was a beautiful stone building with stained-glass windows, but it no longer exists. The church was closed, and the building demolished about 10 years ago because of declining parish numbers…that’s something that is not uncommon.
Surrounding the church was the parish cemetery with tombstones dating back to the early 1800s. This cemetery is one of three in the village and actually across the street from the other oldest cemetery established by one of the founding fathers. Both of these cemeteries are special to me because they are the resting place of many of my ancestors.
We had driven into the village, something we’ve done periodically, just to see our old homesteads and talk about the way things used to be. As we pulled up to the front of the cemetery, we were shocked at what we saw. There were more tombstones knocked over and lying on the ground than were standing upright like they should have been. It left us speechless. As we walked around, I began counting the number of damaged tombstones. I had to stop at 75…I just couldn’t go on.
There was a sign posted by the diocese stating simply that the tombstones were being restored.
Really? Really? It seems implausible to me that this many tombstones would deteriorate all at the same time due to Mother Nature. My first thought was that there were other hands behind all this damage.
So now I’m wondering: Who did this and why? Why this old cemetery and not the other? Do they have no respect for the many strong, courageous people who came to this wilderness 200+ years ago and established this great little village? What is wrong with these people?
Or am I wrong?