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Building a Church...lets buy back our Catholic heritage! (Bring back the sacred) [Catholic Caucus]
CatholicSacredArts.blogspot.com ^ | n/a | CatholicSacredArts.blogspot.com

Posted on 03/11/2011 10:12:41 PM PST by Salvation

Building a Church...lets buy back our Catholic heritage!


A marble Angel of the Lord (1 of 2 angels)salvaged from the former Saint Aloysius Church in Philadelphia, being held hostage by King Richard's Religious Antiques.
 
Throughout the United States, there was a terrible practice of designing our Catholic Churches as “multi-purpose “buildings. Often such a designation included an area for the celebration of the Mass, parish social activities and clerical space for administrative duties of the parish. While the intent was to make the Catholic Church portray a more open and modern religious institution the effect backfired and destroyed our artistic patronages and our architectural heritages. Churches that were constructed during the 40 or so years after the Second Vatican Council is was always most appropriate for pastors and priests to modernize their Churches by taking out the altar rails, removing the statues, modifying or removing completely confessionals and sadly removing the Tridentate Altar of Sacrifice. During these years, we searched as a Church for religious expression; we searched even for the Real Presence of Jesus, because the Eucharistic species was moved around the Church from place to place. First there was a Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, sometimes there were dueling tabernacles, and finally in some archdioceses and dioceses…Jesus is back in the center. He is right back where he started.
Because the Second Vatican Council encouraged a new openness to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, some pastors saw this as an opportunity to replace traditional Catholic liturgical accessories with new and modernized vestments, chalices…the seemingly always present liturgical banner and finally plastic floral designs.

With the new appreciation of the Liturgy of Blessed John XXIII and the papal permission issued by Benedict XVI for unrestricted celebration of this rite, Catholic parishes are hurriedly looking for the liturgical accessories they basically have sold off in liturgical yard sales in the past 40 years. Firms that specialize in reclaiming religious materials from closing Catholic Churches have proliferated in the Catholic world. Sacred articles such as statues, stained glass, liturgical vessels and even vestments are offered for sale on E-Bay, at King Richard’s.com and numerous other sites via the internet.
Our Catholic Church has allowed our donated and gifted materials to become part of a secular antiques auction. Signs and symbols that adorned our most sacred spaces can be found as decorative accessories in hotels, bars, dance clubs and yes even non-Catholic religious buildings. A few weeks ago there was a loud outcry regarding the sale of saint’s relics on EBay. While the Church maintains the buying and selling of sacred relics is considered the sin of simony. What do you call selling the pews, stained glass, marble, sacred vessels and vestments from parish Churches that have closed, modernized or consolidated? This author firmly states such materials are for Catholic sacred purposes and not an architectural harvest for salvage dealers that resell our own Catholic fixtures back to us at obscenely inflated price.

While the American Catholic Church [sic] is shifting in the demographic distribution of its Catholic population, carefull consideration and reintegration of sacred spaces materials and accessories should always be a primary concern. In a ever conscious eco-friendly world, the Catholic Church needs to reconstitute its sacred materials into new and renovated sacred spaces as an ecological message to the world, and as a gesture of good financial stewardship. Faithful Catholics that struggled and provided the financial resources to provide for our older parishes never imagined their donation, intended for perpetual memorial to find new homes as designer accessories or surplus architectural details. Furthermore, the priests and pastors that have sold off these materials, regardless of bishop’s directives, or well founded intentions have surpassed the limit of fiducial responsibility we entrusted to them.
As we begin to acknowledge our Catholic architectural and artistic heritage, it is time to design, build and worship in Catholic Churches that identify us as Catholics. Incorporating materials from other Catholic sites as appropriate provides a keen tie to our history in both secular and religious forms.
As a parishioner, I strongly shout to all of those responsible for new Catholic buildings and their planning. Utilize an architectural firm that is knowledgeable of the history of Catholic art and architecture. Plan to reuse materials from suppressed or closed parishes. Remember the truly tangible connection that exists between our Catholic ancestors and their aspirations they left us a spiritual and physical legacy. Incorporate old and new, modern with antique, such integration will allow the parish to experience the physical and historical continuity of an inherited Catholicism.
 


TOPICS: Catholic; History; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; churches; saccredart; sacredart
I yearn for the beauty of the sacred art in churches. And I pray that many of these "multi-purpose" churches will be re-designed into sacred worship spaces.
1 posted on 03/11/2011 10:12:50 PM PST by Salvation
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To: Salvation

I could hardly believe that this phrase was used in the article

**American Catholic Church **

[sic] was my additional comment.

(No such thing as an American Catholic Church!)


2 posted on 03/11/2011 10:14:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be on it, please Freepmail me.

3 posted on 03/11/2011 10:16:22 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I think the author’s reference to the angel statue being “held hostage” is kind of snarky. I am sure King Richard’s paid for it, and that when various Churches close, it is the local Bishop who allows the items to be sold off. Yes, King Richard’s prices can be steep, but they are a business, and nobody is forced to buy from them.

My Parish has basically dumpster dived and gotten some beautiful things, vestments, an altar, etc, when other Catholic Churches modernized.

I’ve purchased things from antique stores that I feel are of a more questionable provenance than what King Richard’s sells. I’ve purchased things that came out of Eastern Europe in Containers, and wondered if a Church was wondering what happened to some of their Stations of the Cross, statues, or altar crosses.


4 posted on 03/11/2011 10:44:36 PM PST by sockmonkey
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To: sockmonkey

**Stations of the Cross, statues, or altar crosses.**

Wow! What finds. I’d love to see them.

I visited a chapel in Spokane a year ago in which the rector of this little monastery had done the same thing. He had some beautiful wooden stations of the cross that he had cleaned up and refinished. Also a statue of the Blessed Mother that he retrieved somehow. (Don’t remember the exact story.) But it was a beautiful little chapel for seminarians.


5 posted on 03/11/2011 10:52:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Sacred art, sacred music, the poetry of Latin and of earlier translations, mostly gone, discarded by a national hierarchy which worships the age rather than God, which believes sin is another anachronistic concept of the Dark Ages. We went from cathedrals to fast food palaces in a generation.


6 posted on 03/11/2011 11:08:51 PM PST by steve8714 (Firing Federal Bureaucrats would have a 100,000x beneficial effect on the deficit, maybe more.)
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To: steve8714

There is still hope. There is a new generation of Catholics being raised at this moment that I believe will help bring back the beauty you mentioned. My children are currently enrolled in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy at home. We are small in numbers but growing at an incredible rate. My children are memorizing beautiful prayers, translating bible passages from Latin to English and we’ve only been with the school for a couple of months. I truly believe these children are going to change the churches around this country.


7 posted on 03/12/2011 3:20:20 AM PST by samiam1972 ("It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."-Mother Teresa)
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation

Oh sure, according to the article,the Catholic Church must send an “ecological message to the world”. LOL!!!


9 posted on 03/12/2011 4:01:21 AM PST by FreeDeerHawk
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To: Salvation

By the way,Catholics don’t have to “buy back” anything.


10 posted on 03/12/2011 4:06:06 AM PST by FreeDeerHawk
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To: sockmonkey; Salvation
"I’ve purchased things that came out of Eastern Europe in Containers, and wondered if a Church was wondering what happened to some of their Stations of the Cross, statues, or altar crosses."

In my town, the diocese has closed several churches, including the two the Irish side of my family were members of, in the case of one, for more than 100 years. The magnificent stained glass windows were sold to a diocese in Japan to go into new churches. The original, beautiful stations of the cross, made out of carved plaster, were simply smashed and thrown away. It's ironic, I think, that the Roman Catholicism brought here 160 years ago by my Irish ancestors, which was so vibrant just 40 years ago, is dying out while it is growing across the Pacific in Japan.

11 posted on 03/12/2011 4:29:42 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated)
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To: Salvation
It's struck me that over the last 50 years your typical brand new Catholic church building has gone from being a main sanctuary over a basement (where nonreligious activities were handled) into a structure not dissimilar from a standard design used by the Methodists in their main period of expansion in the 1950s.

Not that I am surprised that Catholics should share in my observation, but I'd thought by now (200+ years) somebody would have set up an institution to deal with the issue of church art. There've always been buildings that were set in the wrong place ~ or that had a fire ~ or that fell down in an earthquake.

Wisconsin is a good example of another phenomenon ~ they have HUNDREDS of jewel-box Catholic churches scattered across the countryside ~ far from members! Just not as many hired hands these days ~ there's a fantastic amount of stained glass and statuary just sitting around in fire-traps out there.

I suspect that what you are seeing in the antiquities dealers is simply the private sector rising up to meet a real need ~ and not just for the Catholics but for the Protestants ~ and Jews ~ and Buddhists. America was settled rapidly ~ and it never stopped being developed and redeveloped. Rural Wisconsin, central Baltimore (with a plethora of Orthodox buildings), Pittsburgh with every denomination, and San Francisco Bay Area's Chinese "jewelbox" Baptist churches all suffer from this constant renewal of America and its characteristic architecture.

Perhaps the RCs could lead the way in "regularizing" this business a bit with a KofC "certified" restorer program. Just something about the way this problem has been dealt with by everyone else suggests that bringing in the hierarchy (even if that's only one guy covering 20 states) probably isn't going to do it.

(NOTE: I have a little bit of experience in this ~ I was considering purchasing an independent Christian Church churchbuilding in Morgantown IN. It has 18 3 ft wide by 12 ft high Stained Glass Windows, and a classical Small Town America interior ~ I would have lived in the educational wing and given over the sanctuary area to serve as an art gallery. The church's corporate structure still exists ~ they have a newer building that looks like a Catholic church ~ modern one too ~ elsewhere. They prohibited the purchaser of the building from removing those windows! I thought that rather irresponsible since it was a one-way street. If the church wants the windows left in place they should have offered to pay for the insurance too which they didn't. If that sort of "deal" is the standard for everyone it's no wonder the antiquities dealers jack the price up. )

12 posted on 03/12/2011 4:32:21 AM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
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To: samiam1972

I pray you are right and that the pendulum is swinging back to reverence. I miss those days very much. I find it so distracting before Mass, which used to be a time of quiet prayer and centering, because our churches now sound like meeting halls.

This is my biggest complaint about emulating the Protestant worship practices: most of their worship seems self-aggrandizing. It’s too full of self. It is too heavy on the feelings/interactions we get as individuals and as a community and light on the worship between the individual and his God. I find their worship to be pretty, well orchestrated, and enthusiastic— but not reverent, mystical, or deep.

What I love about being Catholic is the intense relationship between me and the Lord. Even while I am in a large group at Mass, the focus is still on God, the mysterious Sacrifice on the altar, and very personal individual worship.


13 posted on 03/12/2011 9:23:34 AM PST by Melian ( See Matt 7: 21 and 1 John 2: 3-6)
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To: Salvation
American Catholic Church

It's an oxymoron, like Planned Parenthood.
14 posted on 03/12/2011 9:49:50 AM PST by jobim
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: FreeDeerHawk

I thought it was a goofy title too. But it was the best article that I could find about re-establishing sacred spaces for Catholics.


16 posted on 03/12/2011 10:52:42 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Kolokotronis

**beautiful stations of the cross, made out of carved plaster, were simply smashed and thrown away. **

So sad. I suspect that many would have purchased them for a goodly sum.


17 posted on 03/12/2011 10:54:22 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: muawiyah

I believe, somewhere, maybe in the GIRM?? canon law??, there are guidelines for the construction of a church.

Does anyone know where?


18 posted on 03/12/2011 10:57:07 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
This is a Catholic Caucus thread.


Guidelines for Catholic Caucus Threads


19 posted on 03/12/2011 11:04:46 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: FreeDeerHawk

You have FReepmail.


20 posted on 03/12/2011 11:17:06 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
EVERY large organization with a lot of buildings has something that serves as an Architectural Standards Book ~ has to be called something ~ but it will control "branding" as well as "standard layout", "minimum and maximum space allocations for special purposes", heights, floor support standards, furniture dimensions, etc.

Sometimes books like this control colors, light levels, window placement................

So, yeah, you're right. Must be some document somewhere ~ otherwise the guys who build these buildings wouldn't make them look the way they look.

Just now went looking and found a website that seems to claim some degree of knowledge of "how the Catholics do it" and I am shocked, shocked I tell you. There may well be no single document to guide the local parish ~ to wit: >http://www.adoremus.org/299McNamara.html

Let me get over my second shock ~ the idea that laity are brought into the process ~ (LOL ~~ USPS does the same thing ~ brings the local employees into contact with the dictat from the top through the development of the relocation plan ~ and that gets into everyone's favorite topic, where they will sit!)

21 posted on 03/12/2011 11:29:17 AM PST by muawiyah (Make America Safe For Americans)
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To: muawiyah

Thanks for that link. I also found one from an architectural firm that comes in and remodels or recommends how to build a Catholic Church. Didn’t keep the link, however.


22 posted on 03/12/2011 11:56:10 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

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