"Christians construct buildings for divine worship. These visible churches are not simply gathering places, but signify and make visible the Church living in this place, the dwelling of God with men reconciled and united to Christ."
The Catechism states that, "a house of prayer in which the Eucharist is celebrated and reserved…ought to be in good taste and a worthy place for prayer and sacred ceremonial." It further states that in the "’house of God,’ the truth and the harmony of the signs that make it up should show Christ to be present and active in this place.” (CCC 1181) As such, every detail of our college seminary building has a precise and sacred significance, reinforcing important aspects of our Catholic faith.
One of the principal design elements in our new college seminary is the tower which stands at its entrance. Verticality is essential to sacred architecture. In this season of Advent, we focus our eyes on the Incarnation of God, who humbled Himself and was born of the Virgin. While becoming man He did not abandon His Divinity. He pitched His tent, as St John says, among us. Yet while His infant feet are upon the earth, His Divinity encompasses the universe. Both aspects must be summarily displayed in sacred architecture. He is “here,” and yet He extends infinitely “above” symbolized by verticality. The tower you see here is just one element of the building’s façade which physically points to this reality.
Another element of Christian pointed (Gothic) architecture that references the same reality is the “arch” commonly seen in this style. It is not a “barrel” arch but pointed. It moves upward to a specific point: Divinity. Under this tower and between the stone arch you see here will be our statue of St Joseph and the child Jesus. I will explain more of those details as we draw nearer to completion. Let me say now that this statue was paid for by all those who gave on #GivingTuesday. Supporters donated more than $30,000 which will cover the cost of the statue as well as some of the cost of the stone carving surrounding the statue in the tympanum. Thank you!
I wish you all a very blessed Advent and final preparations for our celebration of our Savior’s Incarnation!