Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is It Real?

My most recent visit to St. Louis #2 was very successful. I recruited my brother and better half and we scoured the aisle's with notepads and camera. We were able to find the tombs we were searching for and a few we weren't, but were nonetheless useful. As our search wound down I rounded a corner and found my brother standing behind a tomb stock still staring at the ground. For those of you who have never been to these cemeteries, they're laid out in a very disorganized fashion. You have essentially areas where tombs can be facing any direction with no rhyme or reason. So, there was my brother staring at the rear of a tomb. I looked down to where he was staring and saw a human skull obviously placed there with intention. Two candles adorned each side and a small cross lay beside it. "Is it real?" was the first thing he asked me. I took a closer look than he was willing to and deduced that it was indeed "real"...a little too real! We all decided that we were disgusted with the apparent disrespect. New Orleans has her seedy ways and seedy people and it is unique in some of the religious practices that her people choose. However, we were in a Catholic cemetery and there is no excuse for something like that. We don't know if it was a prank or some spiritual design, but the cemetery of the New Orleans Archdiocese is not the place for it. In my opinion, those people who continue to deface tombs, steal from tombs and are determined to turn our cemeteries into "dumping grounds" need to be dealt with. These are sacred resting places, not a place for graffiti and various other expressions of devotion that are not in line with the history and architecture of the cemeteries. Please resist "x ing" any tombs or leaving things there such as food or valuables that will only draw problems if you visit the cemeteries. I am working with my family to preserve some of these tombs and I will not have them or the remains of those inside defiled!

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