Carlisle Indian Cemetery Grave Blessing - 05/08/11

On Sunday, May 8, 2011, the 3rd Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing women, some of the faithful of Holy Apostles Mission in Mechanicsburg, led by Priest Timothy Hojnicki, and the Archpriest Daniel Ressetar, traveled to the U.S. War College in Carlisle Pa which is also the site of the former Carlisle Indian School. The Carlisle Indian School operated form 1879-1918. In the School’s Indian Cemetery are the graves of 186 children who died while attending the school. Of the 186 children buried there, 10 have been identified as baptized Orthodox Christians who are believed to have never received a proper Orthodox Christian burial. A panakhida (Memorial Service) was served for these children followed by the blessing of their graves. The parish was informed about this situation by the Archpriest Michael Oleksa, Chancellor of the Diocese of Alaska, who had visited Mechanicsburg in September 2010 and told the sad story of these children. During this time in American history Native American children were removed from their homes and transferred to Carlisle (and other places) to attend the boarding school. Holy Apostles plans on making this an annual event to remember those who have fallen asleep, and to proclaim the Risen Christ even to those in the tombs. Memory Eternal! Christ is Risen!