We’ll see how this goes. There may have been a glass of wine in my not too distant past, coupled with reheated deep dish pizza and home fries with aged cheddar cheese (best home fries I’ve made, gotta say. So good.)
Wow, Week 3 already. I started the day with a 15 minute walk to St Barbara’s Church. I noticed this church three weeks ago as I flew into Midway airport. You can’t miss it, it’s the hugest thing around. I got a really big ladder and took this picture of it. Even way back on Week 0, Day 1, when I was wandering around the neighborhood, I had to go past it, because you can see it from just about everywhere.
A brief aside here. What an inauspicious week to pick this particular church. It turns out that St Barbara is the patron saint of gunners and those who work with explosives. Hmmm. Maybe we can find something else. Patron saint of historians apparently is not taken.
Inside, it’s even bigger than I imagined. I’d put a picture here, but I’m having a little technical glitch – no more battery power in my camera. I’ll recharge the battery as I write and put it in later. (Update: the picture came out blurry. I took the picture of the altar above from here). What makes it seem so large is that there are no pillars inside it. It’s one huge open space. I estimated that it could hold over 600 parishioners (wow, that word is spelled differently than I thought. I did not know there was a second “i”. Interesting.) easily. I way underestimated, I just learned from the parish history that it was built to accommodate 1,200 parishioners. Well, everyone knows that today’s parishioners are larger. Learning that did make today’s attendance, about three dozen, more poignant.
I was struck by a couple of other things while I was there. First, color. So much of it. The sun was streaming in through the stained glass, lighting the entire altar area (technically known as the “altar”) in a glow. The statues are in full color, too. I got this picture here. The effect of all this is really quite stunning.
The other thing that I noticed was that the inside of the church looked practically new. Almost every older church (including the past two weekends) I’ve ever been to has paint peeling from water damage inside. I didn’t notice any. Again, reading the history, I learned that it had just been repainted in 2012. Wow, what a job. There are a ton of pictures here.
Still, the parish seems to be in good shape, financially. They are only about $7,000 form their $275,000 re-roofing project. I didn’t notice the peeling paint from the water leaks in the dome until the pastor pointed them out. They are about the size of a football, and hard to see from the floor.
I’ve been working on a photo essay, and took some pictures on the way home. I still have a few more I need to take. You’ll see.