Sunday, August 17, 2008

what is your favorite noun?

The new church building at St. John Neumann parish in Farragut is both drawing people in and pushing some away. My wife and I had heard about a few parishioners who have tired of the constant fund raising efforts, especially within a homily. More recently, we've heard of some people joining the parish specifically because they want their daughters to get married in the new church.

Another person told me that the new place looks more like a cathedral than our actual cathedral, Sacred Heart. Of course, it’s not the building that makes a cathedral, it’s the chair. The bishop’s chair is called a cathedra. The building that houses it is a cathedral.

The Shopper-News recently ran a photo of the construction at St. John Neumann. The new church should be ready in October. The parish already sold its old building and has been holding Mass in the school gym for a few months. Some of the new church’s artwork is viewable online. To me, it looks like they were aiming for Rome but got Pigeon Forge. Something about the look of the faces reminds me of a coffee mug I have from the Miracle Theater.

My wife and I paused briefly on our current road trip to visit to the Cathedral of the Assumption in Louisville, Kentucky, where former Knoxville Bishop Joseph Kurtz now presides. In addition to his regular duties as Archbishop of Louisville, he is also the Metropolitan over all of Kentucky and Tennessee. The cathedral is just off Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

The first thing we noticed about the cathedral was not the chair for the archbishop but the chairs for the congregation. Instead of pews, they had row after row of red-cushioned chairs. A very nice docent told us that the choice to go pew-free was somewhat controversial when the cathedral was restored about ten years ago.

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