Everybody's Got One
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Saturday, June 19, 2004

Church tours  

Driving around sampling baseball and barbecue joints, I've visited a lot of different churches for daily mass (thank God and the Paulines for masstimes.org). No matter how I feel about post-Vatican architecture I have to admit that today's signature churches are being built in the suburbs. (Whether any will be standing in a hundred years is another issue.) Churches downtown like my home parish are the old ones, either falling apart or – in the best of circumstances – carefully maintained, understaffed and underfunded, serving the poor, the immigrant, the stranger, the preservationist remnant. They aren't growing. And they won't, because the long-awaited downtown residents who are finally arriving are largely secular. And they can't practice devotions like perpetual adoration because there's no parking and no nighttime security.

Once upon a time, Christianity was the religion of the cities; no longer. In America today it's a thing of the red states, in rural and suburban surroundings. I wonder how this experiment is going to work out.

posted by Kelly | 10:49 AM link