The Future and the Past

One reader's e-mail kick-starts an intriguing line of thought:

First i just want to say thank you so much for showcasing the beautiful architecture of the wonderful churches in Philly and the surrounding area. I am a member of the young and rapidly growing Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish.

We have just begun our Capital Campaign to bring forth our contribution to the wonderful architecture of Philly Churches. I am happy to inform you that our Pastor Father Paul Brant is much involved in this project and shares our love of beautiful churches in the surrounding area. Because of this BTC will have what i call a modern Gothic style church. Gothic in appearance but modern in the sense of lighting, technology, fire, and security.

I am also very happy to confirm to you that our back, and front main alter are coming from St Boniface Parish. They are currently being cleaned and repaired then stored untill instalation in the new church, hopefuly there final home. Some if not most of our stained glass is coming form St. Bontiface as well, along with pieces from the old St. Peter's church in Pottstown Pa. There are also wood and religious items that where saved from St. Boniface and will be incorporated into the final design of our new parish. It is sad that such a magnificent structure had to be lossed in St. Boniface, but i am glad to see that the objects that once gave there parishioners so much joy can continue to be used and to bring awe to future generations.

once again thank you for all you do and please continue your good work

Is the Project wrong for not being happy about this? I don't know. I should be, probably, glad that the artifacts are not only getting used, but used in this area.

Kind of like how the remnants of Most Blessed Sacrament will find new life at St. Bede the Venerable in Holland.

Would anyone be served for them to collect dust in some Archdiocesan warehouse?

No, of course not. Yet, I can't help but view a letter like this with equal parts sadness and anger. Good for the parishioners of Blessed Theresa, but bad for mostly everybody else who was ever involved with St. Boniface.

The church those artifacts belong to, lest we forget, is still rotting at Diamond & Hancock streets in West Kensington. One parish's sparkling new hopes is another parish's crushed dreams. And one church's rise does not negate another church's fall, regardless of how many old relics they cram into it. Especially when that modern new building, artifacts or no, will never equal the grandeur and artistry of the old one.

I wish Blessed Theresa well, and my tone shouldn't make you think otherwise. I just find it hard to muster any kind of a celebration. Unless you belong to Blessed Theresa, you probably do, too.