Important Graveyard Dates Coming Up

Below is a screen shot from my Google Calendar, October 31 through November 2, 2022. I wish I had enjoyed such a system during my working years!

First there is Halloween, October 31, which may be harmless fun for little kids but also may lead to all kinds of mischief as they age. (Read the history of Halloween Here.)

November 1 is the first day of Native American Heritage Month.  (That is off the subject.) But, there are two days important to the Church, All Saints Day on November 1st, and All Souls Day on November 2nd.

In addition to Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Lutheran and Episcopal Churches may celebrate All Saints’ Day but probably not All Soul’s Day. Martin Luther, a Christian  reformer I admire, turned thumbs down on All Souls Day and was apparently considered infallible by many of the protesters against the Catholic Church. If the subject is of interest, from either a historical or theological viewpoint, both special days seem to be described honestly, if not thoroughly, in this post on Catholic Online.

Whatever one’s theology, the dates are good times to visit graveyards (parts of or adjacent to Church yards) or cemeteries (no connection to Church yards) to remember and pray for our loved ones, or perhaps just have a chat with them. Below is a favorite Catholic prayer for the deceased.

Eternal rest grant unto him/her, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him/her.
May he/she rest in peace.

There are four markers in this graveyard on which at least parts of that prayer are engraved. First is that of J. C. McGuinnis (1852-1881). “Eternal rest grant him O Lord.”

The marker for Mary Baptista Lynch is in a fenced section of the graves of twenty one Ursuline Nuns. The inscription is hardly readable now but was recorded by WPA workers almost 90 years ago and is the image just below the marker.

This marker for Richard Allen and Elizabeth Allen, with the most complete rendering of the prayer, may have been installed much more recently than their deaths of 1807 and 1905. “Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.” “Eternal rest grant to them O Lord.

And special honor and recognition, a marker inside the church, was accorded Father Thomas J. Hegarty who was pastor for  30 years and, a hundred years ago, oversaw the construction of the current church building. While we treasure and give thanks for the WPA work in 1936, note that they granted Father Hegarty an extra ten years as pastor of the church.


5 thoughts on “Important Graveyard Dates Coming Up

  1. Donet Graves

    Father Wallace was laicized and married to his slave. They had three sons. His spouse was named Mary, we believe. according to some accounts she was also buried in the portion of the cemetery reserved for blacks having died in 1848. Is there any effort to explore this burial and their relationship?

      1. Donet Graves

        The Diocese acknowledges that Fr. Wallace was married but never discloses the name of that person. The book by an author named Selby written around the beginning of the 20th century describes the family based upon his personal recollections of the family. The text is readily available and can be provided. The descendants (including me) of the union can track the family from those early years. I plan to be in Columbia in early August to visit the site. I would welcome the opportunity to try to build this record for St. Peter’s.

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