Saturday, November 13, 2010

Corporal Works of Mercy

Our homeschool group tries to do a Corporal Work of Mercy every month.  Since the month of November focuses on praying for the dead, and one of the Works is to bury the dead, the leaders decided to find a neglected cemetery that we could help fix up.

They found a very old cemetery on a busy 4-lane road that is surrounded on the other 3 sides by subdivisions.  It's quite unremarkable as you're driving past, though it has a nice stone sign identifying it.  It was full of weeds and saplings, toppling gravestones, and, in many cases, graves marked simply by rocks.

We spent three hours there during which time a lovely lady told us lots of stories about the cemetery and gave us instruction; we prayed for the dead;  we worked hard to make some sort of improvement.  It seemed like an impossible task when we first arrived, but it was actually looking quite a bit better when we left.

I believe this is an "after" shot.
I think the novelty of the work gave the children and energy they wouldn't normally have had.  There were very little ones who spent lots of time filling wagons and wheelbarrows with leaves and carting them off to the burn pile.  They picked up hundreds of sticks and branches as the back portion is more heavily wooded.

The rocks you see near the tree are actually part of a "wall" that was the  eastern curb on the original road!  It was so neat!

The family plots were all cleaned out thoroughly of weeds and leaves.  Flowers were left at many graves.  Pansies were planted all around the sign for the cemetery.

Weed-whacking was an important job.  I spent most of my time there using nippers to cut down saplings and bushes that weren't supposed to be there.

Sadly, there were many of these broken gravestones which were supposedly broken by the Satanists who have ravaged the cemetery digging up the bodies of babies!  Many of the stones of the children are scattered now to frustrate the grave-robbers.  They're trying to raise the money the have them all put under a cement block to protect them.  Maybe while we're praying for the Dead this month, we can also pray for those who are Spiritually Dead!

This was the oldest grave I saw, although the records show there is a soldier of the Revolutionary War buried somewhere in the cemetery.  His grave is one of the many unmarked ones.

 When we were all exhausted and ready to go, many of the children made crayon rubbings of their favorite gravestones.

It looks as if we'll get to revisit them since our group has decided to "adopt" this cemetery for the year and try to go back every month, or so, to make more improvements.  I think we only touch half the cemetery!  The lovely woman in charge needs the help and was so gracious and friendly to us, strange Catholics praying for people who have already died!

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most Precious Blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home, and within my family.  Amen.


  1. AWESOME!!!
    little neglected cemeteries are the saddest things!!


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