In the United States, it is rare to find a church that is more than 100 years old. Unlike Italy that has churches more than a thousand years old on every corner (when the “New Church” in Rome is from the 16th century…), you are hard-pressed to find a Catholic Church in most areas older than 75 years old. In my case especially, having lived in the “new south” for many years in which the number of Catholics is growing and new churches are actually being built all around us, finding a church from the 1980s, let alone the 1880s, is not all that common.
You can imagine my reaction, then, to walking into a church built in 1884 this week. Talk about ancient by our standards! And yet, nothing about it seemed all that old. With the revitalization of church buildings after the Second Vatican council, this one was a beautiful blend of old traditions and new faith, adorned with statues and grand art while also being open and bright, facilitating participation and active engagement. Quite to my surprise, I actually found the church to be quite nice.
A quick update, by the numbers (as of 6/22):
- Days on mission: 21
- Miles traveled: 6586
- Homilies preached: 22
- Talks given: 12
- Videos produced: 8
- Miles run: 47.96 (14 runs)
- Books read: 1.75
- Episodes of The West Wing watched: 42 (I was on vacation for 5 days…)
I’m currently in Cincinnati, OH, where I’ll be preaching at St. Monica-St. George Parish (student center) tonight and tomorrow. Be sure to check YouTube tomorrow for a new video that I’m actually walking out the door to film!