cemetery sign

(It turns out that Loren’s 2019 pilgrimage to visit the burial sites of brothers – 34 visits to 33 cemeteries in 11 states – did not end with the last chapter in his series.)

Twenty-two months ago on a wet, drizzly, August afternoon, I stopped at St. Joseph Cemetery in Conneaut, Ohio, to visit the grave of our brother, Christopher Lynch. Making use of telephone, internet, and e-mail, I prepared myself ahead of time with fairly detailed information concerning the location of his grave. Alas, I did not have all of my notes with me that afternoon. What information I did have was accurate but inadequate.

friar

Fr. Christopher Lynch, OFM

I drove through the cemetery looking for signs which corresponded to the information at hand, stopping when something looked promising, trudging across wet grass, peering through rain drops at names on stones. Frustrated and seeking respite from the rain, I stopped at a nearby Dairy Queen, on the off chance that the weather would clear by the time I finished my raspberry sundae. It didn’t. I returned again to the cemetery, hoping to see some sign of our brother’s grave from the car window. I didn’t . . . and headed off to Ford City for a more successful visit with Florian Lalis.

On June 2 and 3 of this year I met with Dan Anderson and Ron Cooper at the provincial archives in Cincinnati. (Graeter’s raspberry sundae with peach ice cream beats Dairy Queen by several hundred calories!) On my way back to Easton I made another visit to Conneaut, this time armed with all the information that I had accumulated. Success!

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June, Christopher’s grave turned out to be fairly easy to find. Mystery! Why was our brother buried here (which does not appear to be a family plot) rather than with the other friars in Valparaiso, and why is there no indication of his Franciscan vocation on his stone? Still savoring the memory of Tuesday evening’s sundae at Graeter’s, I passed, but did not stop at, DQ on my way out of town.

grave stone

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