My Photo

I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Finding a new home

The closing of parishes means trying to find a place for all of the religious items, statues, and images. Here in Steubenville, several parishes will be closed in a few years and so it was nice to see this piece about churches in the Boston area trying to find a place for these items both so that they can continue to be sources of devotion but also to serve as a continuing sign of the church to which they belong.

The archdiocese developed guidelines to disperse religious goods. Church law says they must be removed before a church building can be sold. First dibs go to a parish designated to receive people from the church that is closing. They're encouraged to take a statue, cross, or other familiar symbol to make newcomers feel at home.

After two weeks, other parishes and Catholic institutions in the archdiocese can choose. Anything left unclaimed is made available on a password-protected website, to be given away to other Catholic churches, schools, or organizations. Church law does not allow sacred items to be sold, the archdiocese said.

''Our interest is to make sure that these items stay in use," said Terrence C. Donilon, the archdiocese spokesman. ''We're working with parishes both in and outside the diocese to make sure that happens."

At St. James in Salem, the giant wooden crucifix from St. Joseph was put in a place where parishioners could easily see and touch it. ''This is a symbol of our healing," said the Rev. John Sheridan, pastor at St. James, standing in front of the crucifix. ''We put upon him our own wounds. ... But it also reminds us that what we share together is Christ's presence, in and around us."


Post a Comment

<< Home