The Sistine Chapel.
Imagine for a moment that these great monuments to Faith, these magnificent examples of man’s ingenuity and God’s glory were no more…
Are they worthy of preservation? Would we be diminished by the loss of such great beauty? What would we be willing to undertake to protect and preserve them?
For hundreds of years the Church has endeavored to restore and safeguard these treasures of the Faith. Bound up in mortar and marble are more than just memory. The stones, statuary, tapestries and canvas are bound in the blood, sweat and tears of the artists and architects, the patrons and builders and, indeed, the faithful who’ve worshiped amongst them. At a time when art glorified God and not man, the very edifice of the Church gave testimony to the greatness of God…and man’s gratitude.
One need not travel to Europe to see such beauty. In small parishes throughout the world, working class men and women poured all of their time, talent and treasure into small, neighborhood Churches…giving the very best they had to give, even from their great want.
Holy Rosary – St. John the Evangelist in Columbus, Ohio is one such parish.
Built to resemble the Cathedral at Notre Dame, this small parish in a working-class neighborhood of German immigrants was solemnly dedicated on September 25, 1899. Noted for its incredible stained glass windows and vaulted ceiling depicting the Apocalypse, its splendor inspired generations. Unfortunately, years of neglect have left the interior in great need of repair. Crumbling plaster, plywood glued upon hardwood floors, statuary in need of restoration…St. John’s need is great. And they are desperately seeking patrons…
One parish, Holy Family Catholic Church in Columbus, has adopted this poor, inner city church. There was a time, not so very long ago, that Holy Family was destined to close. The building was in tremendous need of repair, the community was in decline…but a faithful priest worked to save this parish. Fr. Schweitzer poured himself into the parish with great energy and fervor, and what was once destined for destruction is now a vibrant, growing community of faith…home of one of Columbus’ largest soup kitchens, the Pontifical Jubilee Museum and currently, the only parish in Columbus that offers the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. This is our hope for Holy Rosary – St. John…that it may grow to realize its full potential and that the beauty of the structure be restored to its previous grandeur. There is much to be done…and this is where you can help! Would you consider a Lenten gift of alms to this poor parish? The current goal is to remove the hideous carpet and the plywood that has been glued to the hardwood floors. The cost for the floor restoration is approximately $10,000…a princely sum for a poor community. Should the Spirit move you to give, please send your donations to either of the following. Be sure to note that you are contributing to the restoration of Holy Rosary – St. John.
Holy Family Catholic Church
584 W. Broad St.
Columbus, OH 43215
The Jubilee Museum & Catholic Cultural Center
584 West Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215
If you find yourself in the Columbus area, and would like to take a look at this beautiful church, or if you’d like to help with the actual repairs, you may contact Bryan Hamilton at 614-221-4323 Ext.110. Meanwhile, here are a few photos that don’t begin to do justice to this amazing structure:
Holy Rosary – St. John
648 South Ohio Avenue
Columbus, OH 43205-2742
Your prayers for the success of this restoration project will be greatly appreciated by the priest and parishioners of Holy Rosary – St. John the Evangelist. May God bless you for your kindness and generosity…