Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Communing With Future Colleagues

Last September I posted some pictures of a large columbarium associated with St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. The pictures are here and here. I discovered the meaning of the word, columbarium, and its use for ceteries, at that time: a “dovecote for the ashes of the dead.” St. Paul’s columbarium is on the extreme eastern edge of our suburban area. It is nearly on the shores of Lake St. Claire—and over there the dim dark line visible beyond the blue-grey waters is Canada. By that time, of course, I’d already encountered a much smaller columbarium at the opposite side of the Pointes, as we call these towns around here (Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Shores). The extra e’s come from the French. The French settled this area and also named the big city here d’Étroit—the city of the strait.

The other day I happened to carry a camera as I once more passed by Grosse Pointe Congregational Church and stopped for a moment to commune with people who would relatively soon be my future colleagues. While taking some pictures of this small columbarium, I also discovered an old marker stone for the Jefferson Avenue Baptist Church right next to the mini-cemetery, almost as if it marked the presence of a “dearly departed.” Curiously, Jefferson Avenue is where St. Paul’s columbarium is actually located. History is tangled here. I assume that the Baptist Church, once on the shores of Lake St. Claire, had later built a new structure more inland—and that the structure had later been passed into the care of the Congregational Church. But the elders of that church had kept the original marker stone and made room for it among the dead. The rest in images:

1 comment:

  1. Lovely pictures. But, ah, you needn't be in such a hurry to join your future colleagues... :)