New life for old church goods

New life for old church goods

All the material goods that go into making a parish church are being redistributed from closed parishes to ones that are staying open. This has a couple of good effects. For one thing, it keeps sacred objects being used as sacred object. It also keeps historic artwork and gifts in memory of the dead in a place where all can see it.

Some of the objects aren’t going to other Boston-area parishes. A priest, who is a friend of my pastor and stays at our parish when he’s in town once per year, serves the St. James Society in South America. The society is not a religious order, but is a diocesan-run group that sends diocesan priests to serve in poor Catholic countries. Fr. Tom Oates is currently serving the barrios in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he is building a couple of churches. Seeing all these church goods free for the taking, he arranged to pick up several truckloads of pews, altars, tabernacles, chalices, vestments, candlesticks, and what not, loaded them into two shipping containers (donated), and had them shipped via freighter (donated) to South America.

I like to think of it as a nice gift from their Catholic Norte Americano brothers and sisters. In the midst of pain and tears and anger, some good comes out of it. As the old saying goes, God makes straight with crooked paths.

  • I can’t say this report made me very happy. While I’m glad artwork and stained glass is preserved, this is just heart wrenching.  I understand churches must be closed, but why close your greatest material treasures while you leave open the ugliest suburban parishes?  Once these historic churches are gone, they can never be replaced unlike the space-ship-like, theatre in the round churches which could be easily duplicated or sold to Protestants or community theatre groups.  I wonder if the Cardinal took any of that into consideration?  I won’t attack the man because he has one of the worst jobs in America, but it does make me wonder if he could have kept the historic churches open and closed some expendable 1970s monstrosities. 

  • Our church (St. Patrick in Bradford) was able to get a lovely lectern from one of our pastor’s former parishes in Southie (can’t remember the name off-hand), though it’s quite rococo and doesn’t really go with the rather spartan interior.  Still, it’s nice to have and use.  Now, if we could only get some votive lights, I’d really be happy

  • Amen!

    I’m still sad that Holy Trinity in Boston is getting the axe. I’m sure it’s in need of repairs, but I think it’s the oldest church in town still standing, built around 1844.

    And the Traditional Mass crowd certainly breathed new life into it.