Pat Shingleton: "The Cathderal"
For many years every column or article that has been composed by me has always incorporated some element or reference to "weather." The reference today is sunlight passing through stained glass. The book, Pillars of Earth, describes in great detail how churches and cathedrals were constructed many years ago. In Baton Rouge, our Cathedral is St. Joseph's Cathedral located in the heart of the City. Upon entering the Cathedral, many of you may have noticed the Angelic depictions holding the Cathedral. Traditionally many church altars face East and sunlight within St. Joseph's Cathedral is captured at sunrise and sunset, compliments of the beautiful stained glass windows. Yesterday, the entire Diocese of Baton Rouge recognized the Cathedral of our Diocese. It was originally constructed in 1792, renamed in 1853 and 1961 and officially dedicated on the final day of September, 1970. In 1990 it was officially placed on the National Registry of Historical Places. While visiting my Mom recently in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, I attended morning Mass at Holy Redeemer Church. In our younger years there were two churches, St. Agatha and Blessed Virgin Mary. Consolidation of churches by the Diocese of Pittsburgh closed St. Agatha's whereby a local entrepreneur decided to transform it into a pizza restaurant. Following the purchase, workers were unable to extract the stained glass windows due to their permanent installation. The purchasers were compelled to "walk-away" from the deal. A second group attempted to purchase the church and rectory, level it and place a pharmacy on the property. Code restrictions prevented this purchase as did the discovery of buried debris that was on the premises in the late 1800s. My old high-school pal, Tony Nocera, informed both developers that their business intentions would be unsuccessful. He also predicted that the windows would never be removed. St. Agatha's presently sits vacant with possibly a bright future.