This is my place of refuge. It is St. Cebria, a tiny 300 year old church near the train station in Valldoreix, Spain. Tom has been working in Barcelona for several years, and many mornings when I’m in Spain I walk here for Mass. The weekday Mass is not in Spanish or English, but in Catalan, the local language. With the help of a worship aid I learned to join in with the responses and sing their songs ~ no easy Catalan task! As I walk down the alley to the church I feel like I am coming home. Surrounded by the challenges of living in a foreign country, I am comforted to frequent this familiar refuge. When I walk through the doors I know I will find a faith family (the church is always full for Mass), a familiar liturgy, and Christ Himself in the Eucharist.
This is also my home: St. Martha Catholic Church in Kingwood, Texas. We built this beautiful church three years ago. It is the creative work of many dedicated and talented parishioners. My friend Donna designed the four rose windows, including the welcome window you see here. They are more than spectacular. They tell a faith story, just like the art of old. Her husband created the carved wood altar chairs. Four large images of saints hang in the Adoration Chapel and were painted by a young college student in a studio at LSU the summer before the church was completed. A retired gentleman created the bronze sculptures of Jesus, Mary, Lazarus and Martha. Many more designed and built the structure. When I walk through the doors I know I will find a faith family, a familiar liturgy, and Christ Himself in the Eucharist, just like in Spain, or Mexico, or anywhere.
When I look at these churches I see continuity. In Europe the cathedrals and churches are amazing architectural works of art that have survived the ages. St. Martha’s new church was built in love, and the gifts of the artists were given to tell a story, to serve those who worship, and to grace the altar of the King.
When everything else in Kingwood is crumbling to the ground, I expect this church will blaze on, drawing new hearts to worship.
Are you home? Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8, RSV)
Visit these websites to learn more about your faith or to come home!
http://www.stmarthaaff.com (St. Martha Adult Faith Formation)
Photos by Peggy Angelino