Separated and Reunited in Death

These grave markers — pressed up against either side of an imposing wall, with a pair of clasped hands reaching over the wall’s top — date to a time in Dutch history when Catholic and Protestant graves were strictly segregated. A Catholic and a Protestant married couple, separated in death, arranged for this unique workaround in order to rejoin one another.

In 1842, a colonel in the Dutch cavalry, JWC van Gorkum, married a woman known as JCPH van Aefferden. The union was controversial — van Gorkum was Protestant and van Aefferden was Catholic. Despite the prevailing culture at the time, the two remained married for decades, only separating when van Gorkum died in 1880.

But when van Aefferden passed away eight years later, she couldn’t be buried with her late husband; even in death, Catholics needed to stay with their own. While alive, she made her wishes clear — she did not want to be buried in her family tomb and, instead, wished to be as close to her husband as possible. The solution, seen above, is their connected tombstones.

Rise of the atheists: U.S. Protestants lose majority status as church attendance falls
For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study.

One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise.

The percentage of Protestant adults in the U.S. has reached a low of 48 per cent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 per cent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees.

I was jealous of Catholics

…But their theology didn’t appeal to me. It didn’t make sense.

They worshipped Mary. (I thought.)

They worshipped Saints. (I also thought.)

They tried to earn salvation. (I was told.)

They made stuff up that wasn’t biblical at all. (I was also told.)

And they had a guy in Rome who was a little like Simon Says. (And I believed they did whatever he told them to do.)

And then, I discovered the Eucharist. I think they called what happened to me … infused grace. I read John 6 and I knew it was true. If Jesus Christ was making an appearance at Mass, I had to get there. I had to be there. I had to let His Presence wash over me.

There is no more compelling motivation for becoming Catholic and digging in to find out what Catholics really believe than the truth of the Real Presence.

So they had nuns. That’s nice. What mattered was they had Jesus’ Body and Blood.

So they had big families. Kind of neat. What mattered was they had the Real Presence.

So they had cute boys. I’d long gotten over all those crushes. What mattered now was Jesus and only Jesus.

And when you fall in love with Him, He sets all the misconceptions about His Church in order.

One-by-one the perceived red flags disappeared. They didn’t worship Mary. They didn’t worship the Saints. They believed they were saved by grace which led to faith and good works. They didn’t make up stuff. And the man in Rome – well, I had seen enough Christian division to know that God might want a Vicar on Earth to shepherd the flock. The entire faith was organic. It fit together like the parts of one body.

The Body of Christ.

I’m not jealous anymore. I’m thankful.

I’m Catholic.

- Denise Bossert

Growing up in the Protestant church, I always had a fascination with Mary and always wondered why we were not talking about her. I mean she’s undoubtedly the most important woman ever in history and yet there was this silence about her. We had bible studies on Esther, and Ruth, but nothing on Mary…You’d ask a question about Mary and it was like ‘Shh’, we don’t talk about her except at Christmas…
—  Abby Johnson, former Baptist and Episcopal, speaking on her conversion to Catholic Church (Youtube)
Catholic Parenting
  • Me:So, you guys remember why we celebrate Palm Sunday?
  • 9 year old son:Yeah Jesus rode in on a donkey... (proceeds to tell the whole Palm Sunday story).
  • Me:Uh, yeah exactly...
  • 7 year old son:My favorite miracle of Jesus is the wedding. When he turned water in to wine.
  • 9 year old son:Dude, that's the Wedding of Cana.
  • 7 year old son:Yeah he did it because his Mommy told him to start, and he loves her.
  • 9 year old son:Aaaaaaand that's why we're not Protestant any more.
  • Me:😮
  • Guys did that just happen?