For All Saints Day, St. John Cantius Catholic Church displayed their massive collection of saints relics, which are little slivers of bones or tresses of hair. It seems kind of a weird thing to put into a gold case, right?
In his homily (aka sermon) the priest explained how before he became Catholic, he did think this was odd.
Now he made us consider his story of the Cub’s winning the World Series in 2016. Everyone in the city was gung ho for the team and in a celebratory spirit. He recalled the day of the homecoming parade, he was on a train platform and saw a piece of confetti and reflexively he reached down for this discarded piece of paper. An older man beat him to it.
Upon reflection, he believed that it’s human nature to want to keep a piece of greatness or joy. By keeping and displaying these relics he felt we’re making visible those Christians who’ve gone before us who are cheering us on and inspiring us on how to live as we were designed to live.
This week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge, which I’m joining for the first time after seeing Cee’s post today, inspires bloggers to search their archives for photos that portray worship. After the horror of the Notre Dame fire, the sacred is on the minds of many.
Catholic church in Pekanbaru, Indonesia
If you want to join, create a post that depicts worship and link to Dutch Goes the Photo. Tag your post with: fpj-photo-challenge.
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
I figured that January 6, Epiphany, would be the last day to see Christmas decorations in a church. I returned to Holy Trinity Polish Mission, another church built in the late 19th Century. I’d been blown away with its art and architecture.
Once a local parish, Holy Trinity is now a mission for Polish Catholics in Chicago. The mass I attended was 100% in Polish so I marveled at the sacred art as scripture was read and the homily given.
The mass I attended had about 300 people in attendance, which is unexpected in an era when so many churches are half empty. I think the Polish are still quite serious about religion.
I learned that Poland celebrated its independence in 1918.
I love to see how people keep their culture alive generation after generation. Holy Trinity has a grade school and high school.
My parents’ visit to St. John Cantius in the fall inspired me to seek out the most splendid churches in Chicago. I found a useful article to help me form a list. My first church was St. John Cantius where I attended my first Latin mass.
Figuring the Christmas decorations would still be up, today I went to St. Hedwig in the Bucktown neighborhood.
The church stuns with its beauty as you first enter. Lots of gold and gorgeous polished wood. Ceilings were painted with biblical stories just as they are in Europe.
St. Hedwig’s Nativity scene
The three Wise Men are due to appear on Epiphany, January 6th.
Below is a fascinating podcast on forgiveness. It’s part of the Feminist Catholic Podcast series and features Rosario Rodriguez, who experienced two assaults and had to learn what forgiveness really is.