Catholic Interest

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    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Extravagant home

    The traveling exhibit of Papal things came to the local museum. Jewels, crowns, chalices, gold threaded vestments.

    I heard, and I'm sure many people thought, it was a sign that the Catholic Church is rich and the money would be better spent on the poor.

    And this regardless of Jesus defending the woman in the Gospel, pouring that expensive perfume on him, to the complaining apostles.

    Recently in Mexico, some small town took lots of that money that immigrants send back from the U.S.A., and completed a beautiful church. The mayor thought the money should be spent on a much needed sewer system. The people interviewed leaving Mass seemed well pleased with their building efforts.

    The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. is just amazing. Built from contributions from classroom coin bottles and average folks, and rich folks during the 20th century.

    The Bible has a lot to say about giving alms to the poor, not spending money on the poor.

    The rich man was told if he wanted to be perfect, first give all to the poor, then follow. It's the giving, not the spending that eases the condition of the poor and involves the holiness of the giver. It even seems to me that the holiness of the giver is the Bible's first concern, and the state of the poor the second concern.

    If I should again be around that argument of the Church being rich, being better off selling its properties and giving to the poor, I will use the argument of the holiness of the giver being the first concern. And mention that any wealth the Church possesses came from givers to the glory of God.

    The poor's situation is eased by love, which might involve money, and might not.


    Six Italian mosaicists suspended 100 feet above the ground last week pasted thumbnail-sized Venetian glass on the ceiling of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Northeast, guided only by an artist's rendition of what the finished project should look like.

    The workers will place nearly 2.4 million of the colored glass tiles — each less than an inch in length and width — transforming 3,780 square feet of plain, gray ceiling into a mosaic depicting four scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.

    The artwork, which will cover the ceilings of the three domes of the basilica, has been 40 years in the making — from gathering donations, drawing up plans and hiring artists. When completed, the mosaics will fulfill the original vision of Bishop Thomas Shahan, who oversaw the construction of the shrine nearly 85 years ago.


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