Monday, April 30, 2007

Two churches in our diocese

So far, Rocky and I have now visited 25 churches in our diocese. We went to Our Lady of Good Counsel on Sunday and it was hideous. The whole church looks like something out of the 70s. I felt like a time traveler. The tabernacle was in a corner and was "decorated" with dead lillies. The few people we saw looked surprised to see us. Either they don't see to many black Catholics or they just don't get too many visitors. A group of teenagers came in carrying four bongo drums and an electric guitar. We fled.

After that we decided to visit St. Catherine of Sienna in Great Falls. After OLGC this was a real blessing. St. Catherines's is gorgeous. Jesus in in the middle of the church, they have real stained glass with pictures that make sense instead of those weird distorted images that seem so popular in churches today. They have windows on the glorious and joyful mysteries and depicting the big events in St. Catherine's life. They also a have a relic of St. Catherine on display. There are statues of St. Therese, Mary and the Divine Infant. I fell in love. Plus the people we met were friendly. If you're ever in Great Falls check this church out.


a thorn in the pew said...

I would be afraid to do that kind of traveling in our diocese. I have been to quite a few churches and some are gorgeous, the rest are bland and 70's or Protestant looking.

Dymphna said...

I think something must have gotten into the water in the 70s. Why was everything so ugly?

Daniel said...

The diocese of Fresno, California, where my girlfriend lives, has pictures of each parish up on their website. I was amazed: almost all of them are just imitations of Spanish missions. A few are somewhat different, but most of them have a very mission-y feel to them.

I don't want to think about what such a search would result in my diocese, San Jose.

Steve said...


The Churches in our diocese (I'm in the Arlington diocese as well) are some of the worst I've seen anywhere in the country, when taken as a whole.

Fortunately, we're blessed with some of the better priests. I was a parishioner at St. Catherine of Sienna while Fr. McAfee was still the pastor and his Latin Novus Ordo Masses were the best NO Masses I've ever seen.

We've since given up on the NO, and attend the indult Mass at St. Mary Mother of God in DC. Since we come from Ashburn, it's a hike, but I think it's worth it and so does my wife.

If you're not ready for an indult yet, I've heard that Our Lady of Hope in Sterling is one of the better NO parishes. I have mixed feelings about it, but the architecture is a step up from the others.

Orthros said...


You may also want to check out Holy Resurrection Melkite on Lewinsville Road in McLean. That's where I attended when I lived in NoVa, and although I've lived in Richmond for the past several years, my wife and I take our children up there for baptism, charismation & First Eucharist.

While it's Eastern Rite, you will likely love the reverence and sense of the Sacred. Give it a chance; Fr. Joseph Francavilla is a wonderful priest to boot.