A great story from George Weigel. Kind of wish it was about SoHo, in New York!
As my colleague Stephen White puts it, Soho today is a “world-class spiritual wasteland … a playground of the middle and upper classes, a trendy night spot that sells just about anything a man could want. It’s not so much a poor neighborhood as it is a wicked neighborhood. It’s a place dedicated to the appetites and built on prodigality.” And in the midst of that prodigality is St. Patrick’s—a model Catholic parish and one of the flagships of the New Evangelization.
Led for the past decade by Father Alexander Sherbrooke, a man of no small dreams, St. Patrick’s has just completed a magnificent restoration that has turned a once-drab church into a golden gem of architecture and decoration: for Father Sherbrooke believes, with Benedict XVI, that beauty is a privileged pathway to God in a secular age. While the church was being restored, its dank basement was dug out and a state-of-the-art community center built for the parish’s extensive work with the homeless and the destitute. Up in the church’s bell tower is a chapel for Eucharistic adoration, where volunteers pray from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night, and where two telephones bring requests from all over the world to an “SOS Prayer Line.”