Sunday, August 16, 2009

God and shopping malls

American Papist picked up a story about the coolest idea I have heard in a long time - Capuchin priests making Confession available in a shopping mall. Brilliant! What a great evangelization tool, reminding people about spiritual needs in the midst of so much buying and selling. Why doesn't my mall have a chapel?

And so, yet another example of Catholic architecture evolving in the 21st century. I was just reading about a church in Pittsburgh that is now a brewery and restaurant. The religious pun names for beers is cute I guess, but I was disturbed by the report that "Indeed, the huge beer vat that produces the beer that patrons are drinking is situated on the altar directly under the baldochino." Seriously?

The same article profiled my childhood parish as an example of post-Vatican II architecture. I was rather surprised to turn the page and see a photo of the Activities Center! The author's interpretation felt a bit off, though- why did she not include a picture of the current church building? Whom did she interview to get the scoop on parish outrage over the plexiglass/bronze crucifix? (Shown here in all its Christmas glory.) There are no footnotes. Curious.


Kirsten said...

Muscle Jesus! I remember you telling me all about him when we were busy waxing poetic about Professor Holmes's classes :P

Shopping mall chapels reminds me of something else I'd like to touch on in Museos Unite, which is shopping malls as places to stage exhibits. If Halloween superstores can do it, why not museums and churches?

Sarah said...

I know! I kept thinking of you when I was posting this.

Exhibits in malls - that could work, although you'd need pretty cheap admission (if any) for people to come. Winterthur tried some satellite gift shops once upon a time, but only the Alexandria one remains. I want to scope out how fancy it is.