I came across this very nice post at NLM by architect Matthew Alderman concerning our Archdiocese’s seminarians and the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary which they attend. Some very good P.R. and a vignette to give hope for the future of Saint Louis:
There was a small chapel directly across the hall from my guest room, a pleasant, dim little space where the Sanctissimum was reserved atop a simple but very traditional altar up against the wall that could have served as a textbook illustration for O’Connell or one of the other rubrical guides from before the Council–no gradines, the altar strong and clear in its shape and properly vested, God in His little round-sided house covered fully with a white veil, the tent of the presence, a little set of big six candlesticks and two low mass ones, if I remember correctly. A large, straightforward crucifix hung above it.
Wherever the Sacrament is, there is something of heaven, but I was particularly struck at how this well-known constellation of simple objects, with a bit of simple but subtle lighting and the power of memory and recognition, could transform a plain little room–and there was little on the walls save paint and, perhaps, a few icons here and there–into a true place of prayer. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the chapel had only recently been set up there, and was not, as one might assume, a relic of past ages.
This was, however not the detail that struck me. Several times I popped in to the chapel during my visit, a few times to pray and a few times in the hopes of taking a photo of this pleasant little sacred space for future inspiration should I ever need to design such a little chapel, and every time, well into the night, there were always at least two or three seminarians in there, kneeling and praying. I have to admit that, camera in hand, I was a bit annoyed–I didn’t want to disturb them, but I did want a photo. It was by now nine-thirty at night and I was getting up the next morning at four-fifteen for the first flight back to Milwaukee. Forgive me, but it is hard to tell folks who design things–artists, architects and all the rest–that they’re ever off duty. And, slightly and selfishly frustrated, the thought popped into my head: They’re always there. But then I realized, yes, of course, they’re always there, before the Eucharist.
I never did get a photo, but I left happy. This is why I have such high hopes for the future of the Church.