Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Backup Church, Our Lady of Lourdes

I am fortunate to have a number of beautiful churches within walking distance. My daily church is St. Mary of the Lake Parish. However, on occasion I will attend Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. This is the church I go to for Adoration. The church has a wonderful grotto that is open 24 hours a day. The yard has a statue of Mary that is a focal point for outside prayer.

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish: Outside View

The church was built in 1916. It was built in the Spanish Renaissance style. The large red dome is distinctive and the church is the dominant view of the neighborhood. This is the church that Deacon John Green served at.

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish

The first time I saw the church, two years ago, I was disappointed. This was clearly once a great church but it was run down. It appeared poor, dirty and in disrepair. It had a long proud history. Originally it had been on the other side of Ashland Avenue. Then in 1929 the city decided to widen the street. So the church was cut in half. It was laboriously pulled across the street by horses. The process took month. Additions were made to the church so that it rose bigger and better on the west side of the street.

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish III

Well, those glory days of the church appear to soon be eclipsed. The church is completing its renovation. It is bright and spectacular. The Stations of the Cross demand visitor’s attention. The ceiling beckons. The altar is breath-taking. This is a predominantly Latino congregation. The people are devout which brings dignity and energy to the church. I love visiting Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

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