Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pilgrimage

Two and a half years ago I found a website that told of a sculpture located deep in the country at a little country church. According to that post, the sculpture was seen in France by a soldier during World War I. After the war he came back to the US and raised money to buy and relocate the sculpture to his church in West Virginia. We had been on the little gravel road that led to the church but had turned around before reaching it, having no idea that such a treasure waited a little further down the road.

This past week we were again in the area where the church and the sculpture are located and I was determined to find it. I was intrigued that a statue would so inspire someone that he would go to such lengths to bring it into his daily life. So we retraced our steps.

It seemed that my memory was wrong at first. The road narrowed to two tracks with grass growing in between. We kept going because the gravel was well kept and we reasoned that road had to go somewhere. The all-wheel-drive is not working in my car right now so I was a little worried that we might end up in a place where we needed it, but suddenly the gravel turned to asphalt, and there on our left was a little white Catholic church. Was it the right place? My memory of what I had read said the church was a Lutheran one. Then I saw it--high on the hill in the cemetery. We started the climb.

We passed graves old and new, most with German names and a few with Irish. Some stones have evidently been replaced over the years, evidence of continued care. Flowers bloomed and a soft breeze rustled the leaves of the quiet valley around us.

I wish I had words to describe this sculpture, but perhaps my photos will say it for me:










I tried to find the post that originally sparked my interest in this sculpture but it is no longer make available online. I have also not been able to find any other information about this sculpture online and I wonder about that. I have not said in this post the exact location of the church in case there is a reason for the lack of information (like trying to protect it from vandals). If you would like to make your own journey, please send me an email and I will be happy to send directions. It is an experience I will not forget. A place to lay down troubles and to realize that our sufferings pale in comparison; a place to bow your head and let peace surround you. It was a place I needed to be, and the time I needed to be there.



Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

3 comments:

Steve Ferendo said...

That looks like so many country churches in West Virginia. Most of my ancestors are buried at the one at the Center Point Christian Church. I always thought that it would be a wonderful place to spend eternity.

Jenny said...

I've never heard this story. I'd love to know where it is but I understand & really appreciate your reasons for protecting it. I doubt I'll ever get to go back to WV again - one of the reasons I love your blog so much. It gives me glimpses of where I'm from & I really love that.

Anonymous said...

My step- grandfather attened this church. For many years he was the oldest member. He is buried very close to the beautiful sculpture. We made many walks to the church to see it when we spent summers on his farm off of Rt. 18 in Doddridge Co. Wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing.

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