Saturday, November 26, 2011

Catholic history day trip

Rocky had the day after Thanksgiving off for the first time in ages so we daytripped to Southern Marylanad and the Western Shore. We visited St. John Vianney in Prince Frederick. It's a big, new and very handsome church.  They have an unsual statue of Our Lord's Sacred Heart that sadly is in a tucked away corner near a closet. The church  has one of those babbling brook baptism pools and spectacular stained glass windows. Each window has a theme. One had saints from the Middle Ages, another had great missionary saints.  One window had American saints and Rocky was startled to see Martin Luther King included. MLK was  not Catholic and obviously not a cannonized saint so what the heck...? 

We looked at the Latin American saints window and saw Oscar Romero and Cesar Chavez included with St. Rose of Lima, St. Juan Diego and St. Martin de Porres. On the Carribean saints window we saw Toussaint L'Ouverture. He was known to be devout and he discouraged voodoo but again, he's not a saint. Unlike Mother Mary Lange, whose lovely image was also on the window, he does not have a cause for cannonization before the Vatican. 

Rocky guessed that whoever was in charge of the windows wanted every ethnicity to feel included but went completely overboard and veered into patronizing territory. Too bad this impulse wasn't stiffled because the windows are a magnificent teaching tool.

St. Francis de Sales
We also visited St. Francis de Sales and met the pastor who was very kind to talk to us and allow us to venerate a St. Francis relic. They have the traditional Latin Mass there as well as the ordinary form.  

We visited the cemetary of St. Dominc's in Aquasco to say the Eternal Rest prayer and were surprised by the church's neighbors, a herd of alpacas. They are the cutest animals. They're walking balls of wool and eyelashes that would make a model swoon with envy. Next we left the Western Shore and headed to Leonardtown for lunch and to visit St. Gonzaga. It's 300 years old and is in a federal style like the Basilica in Baltimore. What I really liked was that they had little novena prayer cards next to every statue and of course, that they never got rid of their altar rails or moved the Blessed Sacrament from the center of the altar and the center of hearts and minds.

We visited the living museum of St. Mary's City and bought a few colonial gifts and visited the recreation of the town's chapel. No good description of what it looked like has been found so the archaeologists are guessing based on Catholic architecture of the time. After a full, fun day we headed home and watched TV.