Dad at St Joe's

Walk Down Memory Lane

One very mild day while visiting my Dad, we decided to go to the site of his childhood parish church and cemetery–St Joseph. The church was torn down years ago and merged with another small country parish whose church was torn down. A new church was built on that site. Though Dad is tottery and found the ground to be difficult to navigate due the unevenness of the cemetery, he got around to visit friends and neighbors. A flood of memories about long gone neighbors emerged. He told stories to me about people I’d never set eyes on, but that he remembered from his youth. He said that my grandfather paid a “Pew Tax” for the family at St. Joe’s Church, but he only paid after a child got to be a certain age. So when Dad was young he used to have to “scrounge” for a seat. He remembered that an old childless couple had room in their pew and liked for him to join them. He sat with them most Sundays. Dad made his First Communion at St Joe’s, so it holds a special place in his heart. I’m glad he shared those memories with me about his home parish. As Jeff and I wondered among the head stones, we found dates from as early as 1811, and many folks had been born in Belgium. I did a little reminiscing myself. Some neighbors of my childhood and a classmate from high school are also waiting quietly for the trumpet blast that will call us all home, in that tranquil spot. May they all Rest In Peace.

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