We drove to Belmont, NC, today to attend daily Mass at the Belmont Abbey Basilica, Our Lady Help of Christians, and to identify and photograph the grave marker for Rev. Jeremiah Joseph O’Connell who has parents and other family members buried in this graveyard and who was instrumental in the founding of Belmont Abbey.
Construction on the basilica began March 21, 1892, just two years before Father O’Connell died. The Abbey had been established in 1876 on land purchased by Father O’Connell and made available by him for establishment of a religious community dedicated to youth education. The church was given Minor Basilica recognition by the Vatican July 27, 1998.
With help from Brother Tobiah, who has responsibility for the cemetery, we located Father O’Connell’s grave partially hidden by a large azalea bush. Below are a photo of the marker, azalea leaves on the left, and a satellite shot showing its location. It is a beautiful, restful, and peaceful cemetery.
Read more about the O’Connell family and their gift to the Church of four priests and three Sisters of Mercy HERE.
The All Souls Mass by Brothers and Priests of the Abbey was beautiful in its quiet simplicity. Church pictured below.