Thursday, June 20, 2013

Correcting Mistakes of Post Vatican II Architecture In The Diocese of Shreveport ( Shreveport Times )

Adam Duvernay of the Shreveport Times has wrote a nice article on the newest and indeed largest Church  that is being built in the Diocese of the Shreveport .  Since this is my Diocese any Catholic news in the paper I am glad to get.

From a journalistic point of view the article might have been  served perhaps by finding a voice of those not thrilled with the location ( I have to drive how far !! ) but the story does acknowledge that some are not happy on that front. However this is pretty inside baseball so for the 99 percent of my readers who are outside the Diocese of Shreveport let me move on.

Father Pike Thomas , a former Priest of mine , is the one that has done the work on getting this new Church built. A task that because of his talents is really suited to him. Pike naturally plays a very active voice in the story but says a couple of things that might be questionable such as :

You have to have adequate room for the various things we have going on. Before, people just sat there or knelt and didn’t do anything,” Thomas said. “If you had other sacraments being celebrated like we do now — communion, confirmation, baptism — you have to have places for that. There are a whole lot more people up in the front being honored. Month to month, I’m asking a group of people to come up, whether it’s the kids or the fathers last weekend. We didn’t do any of that before Vatican II.

Well its not exactly true I don't think Catholics in the Pews back them were not " doing anything" .

Also based just on old pictures I have seen I am not sure people being honored ( I think he means blessed ) at the front of Church was not exactly unheard of back before the council.

Many mights wonder , as I did, in reading this article where this story is going. I was thinking what is the purpose of talking about Catholic worship post Vatican II Council which is not exactly breaking news anymore Catholic or indeed Protestant.

Also this is not the first Church by any stretch of the imagination that was built after and with the " Spirit " of the Council as we were told back then.

 Then Father Pike hits it !!

 Although St. Jude’s current chapel on Viking Drive was built in a post-Vatican II world, Thomas said it lacks “a traditional sacred character.” It’s an intimate setting conducive to community, but Bossier parishioners are quickly outgrowing the venue.

Boom !


 “A lot of the churches built right after the council did some good things but neglected other things,” Thomas said.

Boom II .

 In other words perhaps it was not exactly a Post Vatican II requirement that Churches looking like the most stripped down of Puritan meeting halls , an bland auditorium , or a funeral home chapel., or some modern style of building that is bound to be outdated in just a decade or two  A style of Church building of which Bishop Duca has inherited quite a few of in this Diocese.

However the " Reform of the Reform " that so many of us have been jabbering about  for quite a while seems to be having an effect. In this case making sure that Churches we build have a " traditional sacred character " ( Catholic ) as a part of plans.

The Reform of the Reform meets Church architecture ! A hopeful sign at least and in my own Diocese.

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