Where in Ireland are your Boylan roots?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sandbanks Cemetery

Sandbanks Cemetery, otherwise known as Auburn Catholic Cemetery, in Watertown, MA is in sinful condition. To make matters worse, it is owned by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

According to the work of Mary Daly, who transcribed every tombstone with an Irish place name for her book Gravestone Inscriptions of Mount Auburn Catholic Cemetery, Watertown, Mass, this cemetery accepted new graves from 1850 until 1882. The stones here have Irish last names and most of these were Irish immigrants who escaped the famine only to endure harsh living conditions in Boston. These were the immigrants whose very, very hard earned dollars built the Catholic Church in Boston. Walking around here looking for my g-g-g grandparents stone sickened me.

The cemetery has been largely abandoned by the Archdiocese for decades. Stones have turned over and have sunken into the dirt. Trees and brush have covered many of the stones at the edge of the cemetery. In my opinion, this says so much about the Catholic Church - once you can't donate they forget you - even if they offered you perpetual care.

Many of my Boylen ancestors were buried here. From what I can tell searching this lost graveyard, only one of my family tombstones survived. As you can probably tell I have a love/hate relationship with the Catholic Church. The experience of seeing this abandoned cemetery only reinforced my anger. Shameful.

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