Friday, November 20, 2009

Belmont Abbey on Friday

This morning I wanted to buy some baptismal gifts, so we visited The Catholic Shop at Belmont Abbey College. John was so well behaved while in the bookstore! Yes, I was speaking a mostly steady stream of reminders to stick close, be gentle, and put that back, but he always obeyed immediately at my reminders; the staff at the store were very impressed and so was I. After our shopping, we walked around the campus.

So many of my photos these days seem to be of John's back because he's on the move.

We stepped inside the church, where I found this amazing baptismal font.

I don't know why this photo continues to load vertically when I've reoriented it, but the plaque on the stone reads: Upon this rock, men were once sold into slavery. Now upon this rock, through the waters of baptism, men become free children of God.

Rolling up his sleeves to have splashing fun

Walking around the campus gave John the opportunity to ask what monks are and for me to try to explain.

Of various buildings, John remarked, "There is a castle!" and "That is the biggest building in the whole world!"

Taking a break (which he does often)

John doing a characteristic hop-skip-and-a-jump down the path
We stopped for a cookie in the college cafe before coming home and taking naps. Today I baked some delicious, soft brioche bread. Also I'm busy processing a big bag full of apples Chris brought home from New York state. I've already cooked two apple crisps (froze one) and today cooked a batch of apple sauce. (Every time I have cooked apple sauce, I wonder, why do we ever buy this stuff when it is so easy, quick, and cheap to cook?!) With the remainder of the apples, I'll make either an apple pie or an apple coffee cake to freeze.


  1. Katherine,

    I've lurked here for a long time, but just had to comment on the baptismal font. Thank you so much for including that picture. I read the inscription on the plaque to my husband, and almost started to cry! I'd like to forward your picture to the RCIA coordinator at my parish. I'm a catechist on the team, and I know that she would love to see this beautiful font.

    I love reading about your adventures with John and Mary. It makes me miss those days when my children were little!


  2. Anita: I cried too! I'm so moved as I think throughout the day about the feet that stood on that stone, being viewed as naked chattel, sold into slavery, and how God makes everything new. If you want to email me with your email address, I can send you original photos that might be higher resolution. How did you find my blog? Do I know you and I'm forgetting? ~Katherine

  3. P.S. I tried to find information about the slave stone on Belmont Abbey's website, but could find nothing.

  4. My stepfather found this additional information:

    Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina sits on property that was once a large southern plantation. The land was given to the Roman Catholic Church and they built an abbey and college on the property. The monks found a huge granite stone on that property upon which men, women, and children stood centuries ago and were sold as slaves. The monks took the stone and hollowed out a hole in the top and carried it into the abbey's chapel, where to this day it serves as a baptismal font. The engraving on it reads: "Upon this rock men were once sold into slavery. Now upon this rock, through the waters of baptism, people become free children of God."

    Also, there is a book on the history of Gaston County that might include information:

    Gaston County, North Carolina: A Brief History By Rita Wehunt-Black
    The History Press, Charleston SC, 2008

  5. What a beautiful campus. Do you know if its a solid Catholic college?

  6. Elaine: From what I know, Belmont Abbey does have a solid Catholic education. Of course, I'd investigate that more when the time came. That said, I have my heart on our kids going to Thomas Aquinas in California!