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Religion, Death, and the Afterlife: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Deshler Ohio

As many of you know, Polly and I travel the highways and byways of Northwest Ohio, Northeast Indiana, and Southeast Michigan looking for photography opportunities. I have developed an interest in how we as Americans — particularly Midwesterners — memorialize life and death.  Of special interest is the various means religious people use to remember the dead. This interest might seem odd for someone who is an atheist, but I am attracted to roadside memorials and cemeteries. From time to time, I plan to share a few of the photographs I’ve shot while stalking death.

I shot these photographs at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Deshler, Ohio.




Series Navigation<< Religion, Death, and the Afterlife: The Death of Kade MoesReligion, Death, and the Afterlife: The Death of Derek Sheldon >>


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    Karen the rock whisperer

    When my parents bought their last house, in a rural community that had a lot of retirees in it (as opposed to being a retirement community), the previous owner had erected an odd utility shed. It was long and narrow, with a large bay window at one end. Dad found a statue of the Virgin Mary, set it up in the bay window, and put some artificial flowers around it. Now, Dad wasn’t Catholic; he’d been raised Lutheran. But he knew my Catholic mother was into Marian iconography, so I think he did it for her.

    People would slow down as they drove past the shed window, which faced the road. Dad got all kinds of comments about his shrine. And so he started fussing after it, not because it did a damn thing for him, but because it inspired the neighbors. So a man who didn’t believe (as far as I know) made a lot of local Catholics happy, and that was his idea of doing a good thing.

    (Dad also did all kinds of truly helpful, material good things for people; he wasn’t one of those “thoughts and prayers” folks. But encouraging people in a faith he didn’t share was something he just did. I never understood why.)

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      It’s lovely to do things for people with different views, no matter who or what they are. As long as they don’t show thanks by trying to convert you.

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