Starting Easter Monday, St. Sebastian church will be closed weekdays for restoration. Someone might rightly ask, “Why drop this amount of change on a building?” and list any number of worthwhile causes were the resources might be spent. It is a good question to ask and one not to be taken lightly.
At the center of a Catholic community is not a thing (building of otherwise) or a theology or philosophy or any thought or thing. It is a Person: Jesus Christ. And not a center where Jesus is remembered or merely in some way mysteriously present in a people or proclamation. According to our 2,000 years of belief, Jesus is present substantially, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity under the appearance of bread. He is present to us just as He was 2,000 years ago when John the Baptist pointed to Him and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God!”
The epicenter then - the very core of our parish can be found in the tabernacle - in the Sacred Species. You can find this in the most conspicuous spot in the most conspicuous building on our campus. There is no mistaking this from the clues given by our art and architecture.
As a result, this is where a large number of (mostly) local residents voluntarily gather at least once a week to discuss what it is to be human, what it is to be good men, good women, what it is to be a good citizen, to hear and be sent out on mission to form Western Culture. It is no academic exercise. It is a duty to which we are expected to respond the benefits of which are for more than ourselves but for the good of all, particularly the most oppressed or disenfranchised.
Its doors are open to all. Its beauty is even for those who have no funds to support it. It is all done voluntarily and not just for the good of itself but, as it sees itself, for the good of the whole world.
Such noble gems of intentions are of course enshrined in a beautiful space. The center of our source of beauty, goodness, and of truth is reflected in the space in which it is nurtured. The idea is not to have a building that stands out beautifully in a less-than-beautiful world, but to inspire the world to be as beautiful.