I just posted an aged photo of my Uncle Andy. Before his death. Before my family moving.. before the town being decimated by government buyouts and an underground mine fire. I labeled the post ‘peace’ because the image from the past reminded me of how peaceful things were–and a bit of lamenting technology was included in that mindset, as well..
Today, I post this new ‘peace number 2′ photo. It was of Saint Ignatius Church in Centralia, PA. The building stood for over 100 years. It was built on solid rock with a cemetery behind it. However, in the late 1990s the church was destroyed by crews who also destroyed much of the rest of the town as people moved away.
My father was the caretaker of this church and grounds for over two decades. The anniversary of him going to the hospital last year has me deeply thinking about the past. His past, my past.. my family’s past. And our collective futures.
The amazing story of this church’s downfall: When crews began their work on destroying this historic and unifying building, they had trouble. The night previous, a March ice storm glazed over the entire church–the most notable portion that was untouchable was the steeple and cross. They had to literally chop away at the ice for hours before they were able to get the steeple down. And when it fell, it stay in tact.
Another piece of bizarre, and perhaps paranormal. The team who crushed this church also had a decades’ long affair doing the same to others. Schools, churches.. In the case of Centralia, an entire neighborhood. They were good at their work. About a year ago, while destroying another church someone paid them to, the building crushed the owner of the company and he perished. A unique and somewhat ironic way to die after living a life building a company that advertised itself in the destruction of neighborhoods and buildings with historic allure.
When I was a child, I recall being at this church with my father.. I often went with him while he checked the heating and the doors .. I think I did it because as a child it was my way of staying up past 10pm on a school night. I will always recall my first travails with the paranormal, as they happened in that very building. I had to be no older than 8.. I was marching around the church late at night while my dad was downstairs in the furnace room.. I heard the whisper of the priest in the confessional. Before you made a joke of some sordid nature, let me advise: The priest was no where to be found. I didn’t realize that as a tender little kid. Instead I told my dad that the priest is still hearing confessions and he quickly informed me it was time to get into his truck to go home.. Later in life I learned I was not the only one who heard whispers in St. Ignatius. Some even account for stories of seeing entire choirs staring down at them–a frightful thought since that would constitute as more than a mere glance, don’t you think?
The image posted here of St. Ignatius appears to be taken during a snowstorm in the early 1980s. I was about two blocks away playing in the background, no doubt.. Chances are my dad was somewhere around or in the building shoveling ..
And this is yet another image of peace.
From a time long ago now.