A wonderful November activity is to visit a cemetery to pray for the souls in purgatory. In fact, if you do so in the first nine days, you can gain a plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory (under the usual conditions – Communion, Confession within 8 days, prayers for the Pope. Confused? See here.)
On November 1st, we had our annual all-campus faculty/staff retreat at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St Cecilia, so I was able to visit their cemetery.
Mother Joan of Arc, founder of Aquinas College
My friend Mary was going to Calvary Cemetery today, the Catholic cemetery in Nashville, so I went with her. As a side note — I really enjoy cemeteries. Maybe that’s strange, but I love walking amongst the history and having that vivid reminder to pray for the souls who have gone before us. I find cemeteries very peaceful places. (If you want to know more about my thoughts, you can see the post that I wrote three years ago today, strangely enough.)
Calvary Cemetery is very large, and the older section is marked with the names that now mark Nashville streets and parks — McGavock, Warner, and others that have now slipped my mind. There’s also a circle of priests that have served Nashville and several bishops.
It had more unique markers than I’ve ever seen — lots of obelisks and statues and even small buildings.
No cemetery is complete without a pyramid and sphinxes, right?
The Furman family knows how to make a statement.
Percy Warner had quite a section. He and his brothers gave their land for the Warner parks. Percy married Margaret, who was the daughter of a Lindsley and a McGavock, thus uniting three huge Nashville families.
The McGavock section was right next to Percy and Margaret. One of the McGavock boys was a Lt Col in the CSA and gave his life for the South in the Battle of Raymond, MS.
It was good to see the Stars and Bars- a rare sight even down here.
Everyone seems to think the battle flag is the official flag, even though it was only a part of the second and third official flags adopted.
We ended our visit at the grave of Monroe Carell, Jr and his wife Ann (recently deceased, so no headstone yet). Monroe and Ann were gracious philanthropists and are responsible for much throughout the city — the Children’s Hospital, Aquinas’ nursing program, the chapel of the Dominican Sisters, our annual catechetical conference, and much more. So we decided to say our prayers at their grave.
I think there should be more trips in order — the Protestant cemetery right next door is chock-full of Nashville royalty – CSA General Cheatham; Adelicia Acklen (once the richest woman in the South); John Overton, founder of Memphis; Thomas Ryman, builder of the Mother Church of Country Music; and more. There’s also Hendersonville Memorial Gardens, the resting place of Johnny and June Cash.
For another day.