There are a lot of beautiful churches in Richmond, but this is the one that stood guard over my childhood. I could see the clock face from my bedroom window once the trees had lost their leaves. Some nights it looked like the moon. It stands a block away from where I went to elementary school, and I have vivid memories of watching the nuns in their habits walking on the church grounds while I was at recess on the swings. I’d say a prayer to God not to give me The Call because I was pretty sure I would not enjoy life as a nun even though I didn’t really know what it would entail other than lack of clothing options. Though this wasn’t my father’s family’s home parish (the Irish Americans went to St. Mary’s a few blocks away), we did sometimes attend mass here and I loved the neo Gothic architecture, the Stations of the Cross that kept my eye entertained while mass was in progress, the way it felt like all prayers whisked right up into heaven like smoke up a chimney. It’s still one of my favorite sites in my hometown (particularly now that I’m no longer worried about being called to convent life). This is the photo I was taking when the man in the last post offered me the fan he’d just acquired.