Monday, October 30, 2023

(286) Giving Glory to God with Flowers That He Himself Designed and Created


“Prayer is a way of doing instantaneous good for all things in all places.  It’s a way of sending out love everywhere at once…….Prayer makes everything you do more real, lasting, meaningful, and faihful.  Through prayer, everything just flowers and flows” (Robert Lax, a noted poet).

A photo of our beautiful church garden with three dogwood trees. It features our Mother Mary in the month of her Holy Rosary with our church hall in the background.  Zinnias, begonias, roses, chrysanthemums, and common mums  surround Mary.  As of October 30 the flowers are still doing well. 

      Beauty and a beautiful ambient facilitate prayer and we’ve provided that in the renovation of our church, the flowers at the main entrance next to the statue of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, the garden outside, the St. Francis Peace Garden on the other side of the rectory & church office, and the cemetery as we pray for our deceased loved ones near their final resting places on this side of eternity.  Hopefully, all of that is giving us pride in our parish that will help to make us more faithful to God and His Church.
This photo shows the statue of an early Church martyr, St. Philomena, a donation of another former grand knight, DJ Stapleton.  The rectory and church office is to the right of the statue.

  For years our former grand knight, Bruce Davison, has grown and sold flowers and tree seedlings in his green house.  Now he is devoting much of his retirement to glorifying God with his gardening and landscaping within our parish: During our interview, he reflected: “All the beauty in the flowers around the church and the cemetery are but a pale, pale, pale, pale reflection of the beauty and the glory that God has waiting for us in Heaven.  Everytime we look at the flowers we can relflect on the beauty of God”.  Let’s make sure that we all get there!

    The garden has a variety of flowers, including day lillies, blackberry lillies, oriental lilllies, marigods, mums, roses, begonias, dwarf  zinnias, laurels, purple sages, purple cone flowers, salvias, hostias, iris, columbines, echnecias, etc.

    The garden also includes the St. Francis Peace Garden, the cemetery gardens, and even the mini-garden at the entrance of the church. 

The flowers at the cemetery provide an ambient for people visiting the graves of their loved ones, encouraging reflextion and prayer for their souls.  The banister is reminscent of the stairs to the paradise of Heaven.  Here we see red Zinnias and yellow marigolds.

    Davison’s goal is to make this an all season garden, bigger and better every year.  Last Fall Kathryn Marchi contributed Mums.  The winter features evergreens and the Spring features the lenten rose and the blossoms of the dogwood tree shown in the photo on the far right.  So as we say goodby to summer and hello Fall and Winter, keep observing our beautiful church and cemetery gardens during the coming seasons.

This photo shows the gazebo of the cemetery that houses cremated remains; Masses are said there as well as the final prayers before burial of the deceased. 

    Many have contributed to the beauty inside and outside of our church in time, talent, and treasure, reminding us of a biblical verse (1 Cor 3:6-8).  Bruce ordered and planted the seeds; Remy Simon, a little flower herself, added water; Karen Stapleton and Jan Davison did weeding; Josh Davison helped; and God made it all grow.  

    The Lord, of course, is the artist that designed the flowers when He created the world.  Some of the flowers have a connection to our Faith.  The four petals of the Spring blossom of the dogwood tree seem to simulate the wounds of the crucified Christ’s wrists and feet.  It seems that the rose is Mary’s favorite flower.  The marigold flower is named after her.  St. Joseph is often pictured holding a lilly which symbolizes purity.

This photo depicts St. John and our Mother Mary grieving at the crucifixion of her Son, the same as we grieve for the loss of our loved ones and anticipate our own deaths.  Are you ready?  Make sure that we all get there!  Brother knight Chris Davison and his brother Pat did much of the work in planting and caring for the flowers.  Brother knights Matt Bokovitz, Bruce Davison, Mike Merry, Butch Leport, Larry Angel, Allen White and his son, Alex as well as others have also worked with the maintenance of the cemetery.  

     Many with different gifts, talents, and skills have worked together in providing that beauty both inside and outside of our little church, be it with flowers or carpentry.  It’s such a privilege to help to beautify God’s house. 

Whenever you plant flowers in your garden at home, do it for the glory of God.  Placing a statue of Mary, the Sacred Heart, or St. Francis or a cross would be a bonus for meditation and prayer as you walk through and enjoy your own garden.  Bruce and/or his son Josh could give you tips.  Josh does landscaping for a living.    

Our New Pews. After having Mass in our Parish Hall for several months because of renovations to the main church, we finally returned.  The old pews were falling apart, but  providentially a church which was closing down in Portsmouth gave us their pews.  It was a job renting a truck and hauling all of those pews to Gallipolis.  Only problem was that they would not fit into the church.  Fr. Hamm our pastor mobilized the men to solve the problem.  They cut the pews and kneelers to size……an all day job of exquisite carpentry.  After applying lacquer, the pews looked beautiful like they were brand new.  In addition to Mike McConnell, Terry Madden, and Bill Griffith, several of our brother knights were front and center......Mike Dressel, Mike Merry, Mike Ours, Matt Bokovitz, and Keith Elliott.  The women were not to be denied the privilege of serving in the clean-up: Kitty Griffith, Pam Withrow Dovyak, Merry Stapleton, Wendy Nance, Margo Marizon, Patty Hays, and Trudy Linder.  Thanks for giving your day to our church.

       Our thanks to Mary Ann Bokovitz for taking the pictures and Bruce & Jan Davison for the depth that they gave to this article.   

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