Monday, November 10, 2008

Must have


Lastnight I went to Viva Vivaldi and afterwards three of us made a beeline across the street to Cecilia's for a glass of that dandy Montepulciano. St. Cecilia being the patron saint of music, that is the least we can do. The Viva Vivaldi concert was at the Unitarian Universalist Church at Elmwood and Ferry, pictured above.

My sin for today is envy. I envy the Unitarians this church. All through the Geminiani concerto that began the concert I was looking up at the rafters, the way I always do when I go to concerts here. Well, I went to one wedding in this church too. And a few years ago I went to a Sunday service, to catch the visiting minister's act. I knew this guy from when we were in our 20s and used to get together to drink copious amounts. Once this guy fell asleep in a fire pit. I am not kidding. There were hot coals in there at the time, too. Now here he was a U.U. minister. So we went to hear him preach and then went out to eat.

Back to this church and my sin of envy. Yesterday my sin was sloth. I guess you could call it that. Tomorrow's might be gluttony. No shortage of sins here!

I covet the Unitarian Universalist Church on Elmwood. I do. I covet its stone walls and its high arched wooden beams and in the summer when I come here for Chamber Music on Elmwood concerts, I covet its gardens. The U.U. was designed by Edward Austen Kent, who went down on the Titanic in 1912. They have a plaque to him in the church. It is made out of Indiana limestone, like St. Gerard's. It has these exquisite teardrop-shaped chandeliers.

I know this church was built to be a U.U. church but they do not actually believe in anything so I believe it is wasted on them. My U.U. minister friend told me that the only time a Unitarian minister says "Jesus Christ" is when he trips on his way up to the podium. I am serious. That is what he told me. Which is one reason I was sitting there lastnight in my padded pew thinking: This should be a Catholic church!

We should buy it, I thought. We could make the U.U.'s an offer they couldn't refuse. Maybe we could give them St. Gregory the Huge in exchange. I didn't really make that up, by the way, "St. Gregory the Huge." I got that from this priest I met once. These priests you meet, they are the funniest people in the world.

The windows don't depict saints, but we could make up for that by filling the inside of the church with statues of saints, and then you've got the Infant of Prague, the Black Madonna, all kinds of other things that could be added. And should. This church looks kind of barren. That is my only criticism.

Then I thought: The Catholic Church doesn't have a presence in the Elmwood Village. Acquiring the U.U. Church would fix that.

Now we were well on our way to another sin, Pride. I am unstoppable these days!

But here is what is amazing: At intermission I ran into Bill, a friend of mine from the Latin Mass. I do not think it is the same Bill who wrote that Obama has Leonard Pennario on his iPod. But you never know! I should have asked.

Bill said: "Look at the front of this church. It would be just perfect for what we do at St. Anthony's."

I said: "You too????"

So the question now is: When we acquire the U.U. Church, what do we name it? I would think St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpentry, buying and selling houses, and real estate. But we already have so many St. Josephs.

How about St. Barbara, the patron saint of architects and stonemasons?

See, now we're all set.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I read your blog on a fairly regular basis from San Diego. I like to see the progress of your book about our friend, Leonard. I saw something in your blog today that really made me want to respond, your statement that the Unitarian church "does not believe in anything". I beg to differ, to me the Unitarian church stands for inclusion for ALL God’s children not just certain ones.

The Catholic church (thru the Knights of Columbus) along with the Mormon church spent millions of dollars recently to pass California’s proposition 8, stripping same sex marriage away from gay and lesbian couples. They used fear based, scare tactic TV ads to accomplish there goal. Not very Christ-like to me. I’ll take the Unitarian approach any day.

I wish you the best on your book.

Your friend in San Diego,

Mike