A tribute to the treasure trove of ecclesiastical art and architecture in the Diocese of Toledo.
I'm really thankful I found your blog (also Roamin' Catholic). Of course, that is because your taste in ecclesiastical architecture and art agrees very closely with that of my wife and I. But based upon attendance figures, I fear we are in the minority. If one looks at the parishes closed in 2005, they were the older parishes in the central city (speaking of Toledo only). It is the newer, stark suburban churches built in the 60's and later that draw the thousands, while the older, more ornate city churches had and have trouble drawing even a hundred (exceptions duly noted). "The times, they are a-changin'"I grew up in Toledo, leaving before you were born. So I was familiar with the older sanctuaries. Prompted by your blog, wife and I spent Wednesday-Saturday last week in Toledo touring most of the churches. A shocking and depressing experience. Oh, St. Anthony's is still perched on its little hill, spire stretching awesomely into the stratosphere, a bronze historical marker on the corner; but it is shuttered and the neat little Polish houses with their window boxes that surrounded it are no more. The one bright light is that St. Patrick's is not only still open but actually somewhat thriving, and is to get it's steeple back (this summer?). And oh yes, the cathedral remains as romantically gorgeous as the first time I ever saw it (before the dedication).This is getting long, so let me finish with a plea that you keep it up, it warms our hearts so very much. More later. --Ireneus
Actually, the suburban parishes draw people because more people live in the suburbs, not because of the architecture.St. Patrick's is far from alone. Immaculate Conception and Sts. Peter and Paul are doing fine, and Good Shepherd and Holy Rosary are doing tolerably well. Keep on commenting. The times are changing, alright. All over the country, beautiful new churches are being built and older churches, including a lot of late 20th century monstrosities are being remodelled in a better style. Everything is looking up.
Alternative explanation: the surburbanites will drive in to St. Patrick's because it has become trendy (shortly after the steeple came down we were almost alone at mass). St. Peter and Paul, and I suppose Immaculate Conception, do well because they serve the Latinos who have replaced the former Germans of Old South Toledo.While the 21st century will bring a new architecture, I doubt it will resemble the Victorian splendors we admire. In fact, those probably are doomed for the most part. I fear we were born too late. -- Ireneus
Oh, no. The best is yet to be. The Church is due for a new springtime and so is church architecture. Look at THIS to see the sort of young people who give me confidence.
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