Skip to comments.So to Speak: Catholic museum is small, but it rates tops
Posted on 07/14/2014 8:58:44 AM PDT by NYer
The top-rated tourist attraction in Columbus is not our highly regarded zoo. Its an obscure museum of religious artifacts.
So says TripAdvisor, the influential travel website (www.tripadvisor.com) that uses consumer reviews to compile rankings.
In fact, you wont find the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium anywhere on the TripAdvisor list of 70 or so Columbus destinations.
Why? Its in Powell. By TripAdvisors organizational principles, the zoo isnt a Columbus attraction. (TripAdvisors Columbus site, however, has articles on the zoo.)
In a way, Im happy about the situation because, although the zoo doesnt need TripAdvisors help to attract tourists, the Jubilee Museum does. And it deserves the attention.
The museum (jubileemuseum.org), at 57 S. Grubb St. in Franklinton, is a fascinating collection of mostly Roman Catholic artifacts, many of them rescued from demolished churches.
It has an eclectic quality that I love in museums with small budgets but a big passion for their mission. The Rev. Kevin Lutz, the founder, gave me a quick tour, pointing out treasures such as stained-glass windows from the long-demolished St. Peter Church in Columbus, a Bible printed in 1558 and a snuff box of a 19th-century pope, Pius IX.
The priest noted that the museums collection includes three ornate altars once re-purposed as kitschy bar decor.
The museum, which is in the building that houses the Holy Family Soup Kitchen (and was once Holy Family High School), holds guided tours at 11 a.m. Saturdays and is open other days by appointment. (The suggested donation is $7.)
The tours are supposed to last an hour, but Lutz, who was pastor at Holy Family Church before he was transferred to St. Mary last year, has so many stories that they often run longer.
Usually, at least a few people show up on Saturdays, said curator Linda Hamilton. The TripAdvisor ranking has helped.
The zoo, by contrast, expects to attract 2.2 million visitors this year, which is why its not particularly upset about being left off the Columbus list. (It is No. 1 in little Powell, of course.)
I dont now that its an issue for us, said Patty Peters, zoo spokeswoman. I have yet to hear anyone say they couldnt find us.
TripAdvisor didnt respond to a request for comment on how it assigns its attraction rankings, but it appears to be similar to how it ranks hotels. The site uses an algorithm to rank hotels based on the quality, quantity and recency of consumer reviews.
The Jubilee Museum apparently climbed to the top on the strength of 25 reviews, all of them awarding the highest score of excellent. The zoo has 820 reviews, and 90 percent judge it excellent or good.
That sounds about right for both of them.
Highlights from the Collection
Introibo ad altare Dei"I will go to the altar of the Lord
When most people hear the word, "missal," they automatically think of mass weapons of war. However, the altar missal is another type of weapon used for an entirely different sort of war- the spiritual one (Ephesians 6:10-17). In the Tridentine Chapela collection which highlights the ancient Latin Massthe museum possesses about 300 altar missals ranging over a 400 year period. Most are the Missale Romanum (Roman Missal) used for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (i.e. the Latin Mass). There are also Requiem missals (used at funerals), missals used for various events such as the dedication of a church, and also missals used exclusively by various orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Cistercians, etc.)
Several framed manuscripts are on permanent display as part of the John Lawrence Collection. These are antiphonies, which make up the liturgical book containing all parts of the Mass sung by the choir. From a Spanish Franciscan monastery in the year 1526, these manuscripts once formed a so-called Great Book. On the morning of January 11, 1809 the monastery was stormed by Napoleon's troops and looted. According to a contemporary account of the time, the Great Book was "torn from the bloodied and wounded hands of the choristers by the blasphemers looking for treasures for an unholy purpose." After the Great Book was seized by invading French soliders, it was torn apart with the illuminated leaves sold. The leaves that were not illuminated were presumably destroyed.
The permanent collection boasts a large display of Bibles in over a dozen languages (even in Braille) ranging over a 400 year period. The oldest is a 1563 Latin Vulgate. The oldest English-speaking Bible is a first edition Rheims New Testament from 1582.
Historically, chalices have been constructed of precious material- gold or silver, as this is the most highly regarded sacred vessel. Among the numerous chalices on display is one from the 19th century with a heart shaped amethyst from Mary, Queen of Scots.
God indeed writes straight with crooked lines. What began in the ancient world as the most heinous form of torture has become the symbol of Everlasting Life. The cross, which for the ancients meant public humiliation, dishonor, and death, has become the chief Christian symbol. Fittingly, the museum displays many crosses and crucifixes of various shapes and sizes. One life-size crucifix at least 200 years old has an interesting legend attached to it. From Bardstown, Kentucky, it is believed to be among the "Bardstown" treasures that locals have said were donated by King Louis Philippe to the Catholics there. While the story itself is probably legend, the story surrounding it is very interesting.
The museum holds in high esteem the Jewish faith and preserves a significant collection of Jewish art and history. An entire display, The Synagogue, is dedicated to Jewish items, including an Ark and Torah and historic collection of Holy Land Coins from the time of Christ.
Ecce, Agnus Dei! "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
I just took my family to Ohio a couple of weeks ago, if we’d known about this place we would have made a detour through Columbus. Wow, just Wow!
Awesome. I just completed a 3 day seminar with Caroline Farey and David Clayton. Wish I could have stayed all week for the icon painting workshops taught by David. The program was called Sacred Art and the New Evangelization. I just emailed the organizers this website. Lots of Catholic artists out there fighting back from the third iconoclasm - the Second Vatican Council. I went expecting to learn just about art but learned so much about my faith. David also taught us chanting the liturgy of the hours. I don’t know how he could stand listening to it although I think we got a bit better as the weekend wore on.
Great post! Funny how you set off on a journey with pre-conceived expectations and return with a totally new appreciation. Chanting the liturgy of the hours ... typically, these use monastic chant which is repetitive. A large portion of the Maronite Divine Liturgy is chanted. Last week, though, a recently ordained priest chanted the entire liturgy. Chant, incense ... heaven on earth.
If you’re ever planning a trip to Atlantic Canada, swing by Caraquet, New Brunswick, a tiny town in Acadia. It’s worth an extra night, believe me.
In addition to the Acadian culture, and natural environs, there is a beautiful Musee des Papes (Museum of the Popes). While there, you may even want to swing over to the Divine Mercy Sanctuary.