A new church by Duncan Stroik was dedicated last night in Spartanburg, SC. St Paul the Apostle is a splendid new church to seat 850.
Why build a Catholic Church in a traditional style? Lots of reasons. First reason is that it proclaims the beauty and antiquity of the Catholic faith. We have a tradition of architecture and art. It’s part of who we are. Second, it attracts people. I know of at least two Catholic priests converts who went into a beautiful Catholic Church, knew not only that they should be Catholic, but they should be priests. Third, it is counter cultural. All the utilitarians and ideologues would use Judas’ argument…”Why spend all that money when it should be used for the poor!!!??” They forget that we are to love God first and then our neighbor. If we don’t get worship right nothing will be right. A beautiful church reminds us that worship, like play and like laughter, is not useful. Fourth, a traditional church takes us into another world. We step from this mundane, utilitarian world and come to Bethel–the threshold of heaven. Fifth, it enshrines beautiful art which means more to the world than a plain, cheap and merely useful building.
Kudos to Fr Gahan and the people of St Paul’s for completing this marvelous new witness to the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic faith.
Catholicism is growing in the Bible Belt!
Go here to see pictures and read about the next church to be built in the upstate–the new Our Lady of the Rosary, Greenville. Our own building project is going full speed ahead, and if all goes well we will break ground in 2014.