Sunday, June 03, 2012

A visit to Assumption

My mother and I visited my uncle at the nursing home yesterday instead of our usual Sunday. He was in pretty good spirits but he's been giving the night staff fits all week. Dementia patients are very sensitive to change and are disturbed by things so subtle that most of us don't even notice. It may seem odd but when dealing with someone whose mind is breaking down the caregiver has to get smarter.

We kept him company while he ate lunch, then got him a shampoo and shave and we went for a walk. Once Rocky arrived to pick us up we all went to Assumption, a nearby Catholic church. The dear woman who is across the hall from my uncle is a parishioner and when we brought her back a bulletin she was thrilled.

Assumption is a tiny parish in a rotten neighborhood.  I wouldn't want to be on foot but driving through in the day time is okay provided you mind your own business and keep your wits sharp. It's not a neighborhood to wander around daydreaming in. Assumption itself is one of the prettiest little churches I've ever seen. It's made of brick and has exquisite stained glass windows. They have an antique statue of Our Lady and a very nice icon of Our Lord. The Blessed Sacrament is right in the middle of the sanctuary. The priest's chair is off to the side and in a little alcove.  My uncle did great. Right before Communion he needed to go to the restroom which is downstairs. The stairs are long and narrow and my mother couldn't handle that with her cane  and just as she was figuring out what to do a parishioner kindly took him there and brought him back to her. God bless that man.

Father preached the longest homily I've ever heard in a Catholic church but it was good. He summed up our whole  Faith. How long was it? Well Mass started at 4:30 and didn't end until 6:30. Father can preach!

Next time we'll try to visit St. Thomas Moore or Our Lady of Perpetual Help which are the next closest churches to the nursing home.


Gina said...

I was so intrigued by this artwork that I went on a treasure hunt to learn more.

What started out as me attempting to figure out what the angel was holding (never seen an angel holding a whip like that before) turned into me learning that this was actually a panting done by Domenichino and is actually depicted Mary Magdalegne's assumption into Heaven.

I dunno if this was supposed to be his artistic way of showing her SOUL going into Heaven, or if this fellow actually thought Mary Mag. assumed like Our Lady (heaven forbid). But I thought you'd like to know!

Oh, and the whip has five tails, so I guess indicative of the 5 Wounds of Christ? I think the cup is a ciborium, but I've never seen one that small.

One of the history articles on this says they are symbols of Mary's purification through Christ, but I have no idea what that means.

Purification through His Passion (signified by the whip that signifies the 5 Wounds?) and the Eucharistic celebration He left behind for us (symbolized by a ciborium containing Him in the Blessed Sacrament?).

I dunno - rambling. I tend to do that... a lot.

I love the painting. Just wish I knew more about it! :) As usual, THANK YOU!

Dymphna said...

Thanks Gina!