Marie Cassey shows great insight into the damage done to the faith when churches are stripped of any semblance of Catholic tradition. ("Re-ordered" and "new" churches, May AD2000). Indeed, much hurt has been inflicted on older Catholics while younger Catholics have been deprived, to a large extent, of their Catholic heritage.
There is, however, some cause for optimism. More and more young Catholics are conscious that there is something missing when they walk into a new or re-ordered church. A young newly married couple recently settled into their new home, walked into their newly adopted parish church only to walk out again in search of "a church that looks like a church" - and many young couples seek traditional churches in which to get married.
Often Catholics who have left the practice of their Faith for years are shocked on their return to find the tabernacle relegated to a side chapel instead of its distinguished place at the centre of the high altar. Formerly, when Catholics used to visit a church, the reason for their visit was obvious - the tabernacle, and close by the red lamp signifying the presence of the King of Kings.
The practice of removing the tabernacle to a Eucharistic chapel is surely a contributing factor to the lack of reverence in our Catholic churches. Eucharistic chapels are also not conducive to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It simply does not make sense to place God Incarnate, the King of Creation, in a side chapel.
For anyone whose parish church is threatened with such changes, I recommend the resources published by Marie Cassey on church architecture, the Sacred Liturgy and many related topics. These are helpful to Catholics who feel ill-equipped to defend their church from unwanted alterations.
Marie can be contacted at email: bisaccen%40accsoft.com.au, or tel (02) 9868 1661/9876 1881.
Bondi Beach, NSW