22 August 2007

The destruction of home

I received the following devastating news this morning:

Construction equipment surrounds St. John's church this week. The statues, altars, and communion railing are being removed. I think the marble floor and pulpit are going also.

The Crossing [a nondenominational "church" geared toward entertainment] boasts that over 65% of their members are people who recently left the Catholic Church. If that is 500 people, my guess would be that one left because of the clergy scandal and 499 left because the diocese chose to close the people's church buildings and remove the art from parishes that thrived for 170 years.

If our enemies had done this, it would have been easier to bear.

I couldn't agree more.

Part of me wants to drive home right now and the other part knows that I could never bear to watch... Even from four hours away my heart aches and my tears water... My home is gone.


  1. guadalupe11:48 AM

    I am really sorry. What happens to the church property?

  2. I don't know. There has been nothing about this in the parish bulletin and the local media don't seem to want to touch this story at all.

  3. Oh Father, I really am sorry for your pain and those of the old parishioners. I hope they give those precious items to another Catholic church in need of them.

  4. That is so, so wrong. I know we are not to become attached to buildings, BUT buildings where we have received sacraments, prayed so many prayers, felt so much grace--those buildings are more than just buildings.

    And don't those people know how many "teachable moments" come from taking our families past the statues and stained-glass windows that depict saints or Bible scenes?

  5. That makes me SICK.
    I am SO sorry, Father.
    I'm just SICK for you, the other parishioners, and the Catholic Church herself.


  6. I know a chapel in a small Catholic college that would be more than happy to have a proper altar (and a few statues!). Send them our way!

  7. If I could, Dilexit, I would!

  8. Anonymous10:58 AM

    I'm sorry, folks, but if people have left the Catholic Church (or a particular local church) because the building was closed or the art work was changed or removed, then were they truly members? Does their love truly belong to God and his kingdom, or to pretty building with statues and paintings? My home parish has next to no statues or artwork (the old church was torn down in the late 1960s and this one was built to replace it); yet, in the last 10 years, our attendance count has remained constant, while other parishes with statues and art (some of it pretty expensive) have significant attendance declines (up to one-third).

    Saying that we have attachment to statues or art work lends some credence to Protestant accusations that we pray to statues and such.

    I do appreciate your blog, Fr. Daren. Thanks!

  9. The people The Crossing reference left the Church years before any of this happened. And, yes, they were members of the Church by virtue of their baptism.

    Keep in mind that beautiful statues and buildings share in the Beauty that is God. Nothing can be beautiful unless it shares in God's own beauty, and it this way beautiful things lead us to God.

    Saying that we love beautiful images in no way reinforces the Protestant claim that we worship statues. It simply says that we love and value beautiful works of art as ways to be led to God.