29 October 2011

Potter's Field Cemetery - Ohio

Have you heard about the type of cemetery called "Potter's Field"?  It is a cemetery where the county or city bury the poor, the homeless, the unknown, and the unwanted.  There are no signs, no grave markers, and no headstones.  I find this extremely sad.  This  particular cemetery is a 17 acre site dating back to 1906 and is the final resting place for over 16,000 people.  16,000 people and not one headstone...sad indeed!

This is the entrance - no signs, just a broken fence.

Except for some flags and a couple of crosses, there are no markers whatsoever at Potter's Field.

There is only one marker of any kind at this cemetery and that is the memorial rock.  It contains a Biblical passage: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  John 14:27

People have left things at the base of memorial rock ... an old wooden box, flowers, rocks, money, and a rosary.


I found out about this particular cemetery because my stepson attends St. Ignatius - a catholic all-boys school on the west side of Cleveland.  St. Ignatius has a Pallbearer Ministry that handles the funerals of the poor and today they had a special service - the "2011 Potter's Field Prayer Service in Commemoration of All Saints and All Souls".  It was a touching service and tribute to all those unknown, unclaimed people buried at Potter's Field.   

Fr. Streicher saying the mass.

About 100 people attend this special service held at a forgotten, unknown place on a very cold October day.  I'm sure all of us that were there will never forget this cemetery or this prayer service. 

Thank you Fr. Streicher and St. Ignatius for introducing me to Potter's Field!

Have a blessed day.

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