Altar, renovations blessed at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Pittsburg
Bishop Carl A. Kemme praised the renovation of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Pittsburg at a dedication Mass Saturday, Oct. 14, during which he blessed the new altar.
“What pride you must all feel today, pastor, priests and people as you enter into your ‘new’ church that will serve the people here so well, and God-willing, for many generations to come.”
The renovation is more than a make-over or a facelift, Bishop Kemme said.
“You have offered to the many that will walk through these doors for the foreseeable future, a way to find God through the way of beauty, for no one can deny that all of this is most beautiful,” he said, adding that ancient philosophers and theologians called it the Via Pulchritudinis, “The way of beauty, a way, a profound way to find God.”
Although the faithful find God through divine revelation, Bishop Kemme said, humans can find God through goodness and beauty.
After talking about truth and goodness as they relate to God, the bishop said finding God in beauty takes on many dimensions and forms: “The beauty in creation and nature, the beauty in the human body and it’s incomprehensible complexity, the beauty in all of our human relationships, the social beauty in the family and in community, the beauty God allows and inspires us to create in art, music, dance and other forms of expression.”
They are all connections between the temporal and the eternal, he said.
“In our Catholic tradition, churches are dedicated and altars are consecrated because they are meeting places between God and his people and it is honorable and fitting to make these meeting places, as Solomon did in the Old Covenant when it came to the temple, a place of great beauty, which lifts up the mind and the heart to worship the God of all truth, ultimate goodness and everlasting beauty,” Bishop Kemme said.
“We should never apologize for creating spaces of beauty for all to behold, for here we are equal recipients of the gift, whether rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick, sinner or saint; here we all are lifted up from the mundane realities of our lives and transported to heavenly realities.”