Why should the poor be given a church that is mean, shoddy and falling down and why should the rich be the only ones who offer to God a beautiful temple? It was not so in times past. In the days of our great grandfathers poor immigrants built beautiful churches for Christ while they lived in poor hovels. Now we build poor hovels for Christ while we live in McMansions. I can see a beautiful traditional church in the poor part of town. The fact that it is being built right across the street from a whorehouse is, for me, a very wonderful Catholic contradiction. Jesus, after all, welcomed the worship of the prostitute.
The fact that we are also expanding our St Vincent dePaul ministry and have bought a house to become a satellite office for Catholic charities where the poor will be able to come for counseling and advice is also part of the mission. That our old church will be transformed into a community center where we hope to offer subsidized child care for single mothers and a drop in center for old people is part of the vision too.
Christ the King came to live among and save the poorest of the poor. Our church will rise like Christ the King–showing our neighborhood that Catholics still build beautiful churches and that we do so for a reason: because our faith is beautiful and Christ is beautiful. We will build a church that will last for a thousand years because we are committed to the renewal of our world and the renewal of this community. We will build a church that is true and solid because the faith is true and solid.
The poor will see a beautiful church rising in their community–amongst the flophouses and drug dens–and know that the Catholics here chose to stay here. We didn’t sell up and move to the suburbs where the money was. We stayed here to be a lighthouse in the dark.
Please pray for us as we strive to build this church. You can learn more about the project here. Why not read more about it and read some of my articles on architecture.
This is part of my daily series of blog posts about our building project. Would you think about helping us to build this beautiful church? You can go to the bottom of this page to make a donation. Just think if all my readers pitched in just $10.00 we’d have an extra $100,000. for the project!