Thursday, March 29, 2018


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.


Pat said...

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis campaigned to preserve historic buildings, such as New York's Grand Central Station in 1975.

At a press conference she said: "If we don’t care about our past we can’t have very much hope for our future."

In a letter to NY Mayor Abraham Beame she wrote (in part): ". . . is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud moments, until there is nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?"

Anonymous said...

And as one who grew up poor.....we love our Churches too. The most art I ever saw up close and personal was at our parish. Sure we went to museums, but not as often as we went to Mass. And it was ours. We lived among it. We knew the stories and the language. We couldn’t touch most of it, but we could get far closer to it than anything in a museum.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Father. Nothing is too good for Jesus. And beauty should not just be for those who can afford it.

Please pray for us at St. Bernard and St. Mary. We are heartbroken.

Blessed Triduum to our good neighbors at St. Sebastian.

Dick said...

Sometimes I think I have awakened from a bad dream that started around 1970 and find that there is hope for the Church to recover from the destruction that the Mass and church sanctuaries suffered in post Vatican 11 nonsense. So much was brought on by self-serving priests and bishops and misinterpretations of Vatican 11 itself. Being an old gomer, I unfortunately witnessed altars and communion rails ripped out, statues removed, and tabernacles hidden or put off to the side. Beautiful frescoes were painted over and a trend to Protestantize the whole Church went unabated. And sadly, it still goes one in some circles. (Check out the hatchet job done on St Mary's in Wooster. They moved Mary to the basement.) So please Father guide us in the right direction on our restoration as I know you will. I am anxious to see the end results.