The red doors of St. Meinrad’s Archabbey

Red is a common color for doors in liturgical Christian churches. It is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the fire and spark of God that animates all things. Interestingly, red is also the color that Tibetan Buddhists use to mark its buildings that have a statue of Buddha in it, as well as the color of the robes for their monks – for the very same reason. Red is a symbol of the Divine presence within. Red is also the color of Torii gates in the Shinto faith tradition. They are used to mark spiritual gateways, to indicate that beyond them is a holy place. It can also be described as being a visible symbol of the Presence of God, or as Jews would say, the Shekinah.

These were taken late September 2015 in St. Meinrad, Indiana, at the Archabbey and the seminary.






The front of the Archabbey with the three sets of red doors.

A closeup of the Yale lock on one of those doors, with the red paint better visible.

The cemetery at St. Meinrad’s Archabbey

November first is an appropriate day to share these pictures. Today is All Saint’s Day, where all the famous Christians who have died are remembered. These are notable people who have led the way and been examples of being the Body of Christ – of making love visible in the world. November 2nd is All Soul’s Day, where everyone else – family members and friends, for instance, who have lived honorable lives are remembered.

These pictures were taken in late September at St. Meinrad’s Archabbey (Benedictine monastery) in St. Meinrad, Indiana. This is the cemetery for the monks. The cemetery is slightly downhill from the seminary, and the headstones are made of the same local rock that the Abbey itself is built out of. They are very stout.



The 5 former abbots are buried in the walkway. The first abbot was buried elsewhere and then relocated here.


A newer grave, showing the same color of rock as the Abbey. The older ones have weathered to a grey.

Even though they do not decorate graves, someone has practiced the Jewish custom of leaving a stone atop the headstone as a way of marking that they have visited it.

Quite atmospheric in the late Autumn sun.

There was a new grave – for Brother Benedict Barthel, born 1919, died September 15th, 2015. His birth name was Carl Frank.

The graveyard is walled, so it is limited as to how many more brothers can be buried here. There are only 42 spaces left. There are 252 monks already buried here. There are seven rows deep on two sides, with 21 columns.