Friday, March 21, 2008

Cathedrals of the Immaculate Conception

Well I realize I have been to a number of Cathedrals of the Immaculate Conception. I attend the Cathedral in Fort Wayne Indiana. It is a beautiful building that has a strong German influence in its architecture and its wood carvings of The Stations of the Cross which are are phenomenal. They are huge, wood carvings of various cities and times with Jesus. Beside the 14 Stations of the Way of the Cross the artist is also telling another message, that Jesus is the same in every place and every time. The Cathedral Square includes the church, the MacDougal Chapel, the Chancery, the Cathedral Center for C.C.D. and the rectory. The landscaping, statues and the presence in the downtown area is stunning.

Two years ago I saw the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. it was breathtaking. The structure was Eastern. It had 60 chapels in it, each represented by a different ethnic group or identity within the American Catholic family. It is the largest Catholic Church in America

This week I attended services at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield Illinois. It is a very different type of building. It is Greek Revival with 20 Doric columns. The cathedral will begin renovations and within two years will be a brighter building. Still, it was impressive. The building left one with the impression they were in a pagan temple that had been converted by the local Christians.

The stain glass windows tell the story of the Catholic Church. This includes windows dedicated to St. Peter, St. Ignatius, and Pope Leo among others. The windows also tell the story of The American Catholic Church. This includes St. Brendan bringing Christianity to the Western Hemisphere, George Washington commissioning Bishop Carroll during the Revolutionary War and Abraham Lincoln commissioning Archbishop Hughes. It is indeed an American Catholic Church.

So, now that I have noticed that I am in love with Cathedrals of the Immaculate Conception there is only one thing to do, go find more!

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