Saturday, April 21, 2007

Construction Photos of the Sacred Heart Shrine at the Cathedral Basilica

On June 17th, 2007, Archbishop Burke will dedicate a new shrine to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The devotion to the Sacred Heart is a devotion to the wounded love of God: that is, the pained love of a lover towards his unfaithful beloved.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, west transept

The shrine is being installed in the west transept. This is a fairly large open area, that until now was only used for the Christmas manger scene. Click any photo for a larger version.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, partition

During Mass I was distracted by this partition. What was behind it?

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction

This photo was taken on Holy Thursday, and it was just concrete and iron rebar.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing

Here is an overall plan of the shrine, showing various points of view of the shrine in the same drawing. It was designed by Duncan Stroik of Notre Dame University.

A larger drawing details the materials to be used in the shrine. These materials include a variety of fine Italian stone.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, drawing detail

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA - Sacred Heart Shrine under construction, description

8 comments:

  1. At a time of so much personal and societal sadness, I truly admire your photographic skills and more importantly, your generosity in sharing them. They provide a positive and serene experience, and it's very kind of you to provide so many visual journeys, and so thoroughly (lovely how you provided here the plans!), even when you've suffered great loss and grief. Recently I saved your flower photos to provide respite for my eyes, when so much else I read on the Internet is of sadness. God bless you!

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  2. Thank you very much. Many years ago, I used to send emails back and forth to my friends, and this writing was often angry. One friend told me to stop complaining about things and do something about it. That is why I try to stay positive, except with regard to bad ideas. I don't like to attack persons, but instead hope to show positive examples.

    The photos certainly help with grief. Lisa was an artist who believed in beauty and always encouraged my photography and writing.

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  3. I know what you mean. It is great that she loved beauty, art, and photography, especially because if one loves beauty, then one loves what is real and true. So much of art has regretfully become a codification of despair in visual form. Email is also vulnerable to that. It codifies both in text and in percentage of time the feelings of sadness or despair. I know the popular thought is about the goodness of all that artificial connectivity, but it has a high price, by supplanting the real connectivity of person and place. You are speaking to an ardent environmentalist and people lover, who wishes more people would realize the grief healing powers of fresh air, sunlight, wind, watching real people do real every day things, flowers, animals, the earth and the sky. These are all mighty remedies for grief and refresh in more ways than people realize. I'm so glad that with camera in hand you do that, and use the electronic connections to share the real positive with real people!

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  4. I am very excited about this shrine's construction, and I hope to be able to make the dedication Mass! I think this will be a beautiful sight to behold, as it is staying true to the original architecture of the Cathedral Basilica... and in addition, having that beautiful image of the Sacred Heart is an amazing spiritual benefit for me (and, I'm sure, the countless pilgrims who come to the basilica!).

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  5. Beautiful shrine indeed...Now, if they could just get rid of the ugly modern mosaics in those two trancept domes that are unfitting of a Cathedral Basilica as beautiful as ours.

    Also...what is the significance of the "Star of David" in the shrine. Granted, our Lord is a descendant of David, but I would prefer not to see such a symbol included when there are so many other fitting options. It may imply to some a false Ecumenism that one is acknowledging the formerly chosen people as the "Chosen People."

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  6. In Christian symbolism, it is usually called the "Star of Creation", with one point for each of the days of creation in Genesis. I understand that it has been used in churches at least as far back as the Gothic era. I don't know if it has any special significance with regards to the Sacred Heart.

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  7. I agree with jp -- I think we should lose the 'star of david/star of creation'. It can only cause confusion and distrust.
    And by the way -- I have never encountered the 'star of creation' in any study of historical Christianity. References for your 'star of creation' would be appreciated.

    If I visited that shrine and saw that symbol on the floor, I would immediately become suspicious of the intentions of the designer. There are references that one can find that detail the historicity of the 'star of david' symbol to be nothing more than a symbol of brutal zionist/ashkenazic aspirations in the Holy Land.

    It is not, in other words, an 'ancient symbol of Judaism'.
    A true, ancient symbol of Judaism would be the Menorah. Also, considering the universality of Jesus the Christ and the Catholic Church (i.e., Jesus is the savior of the whole world, and not just the Jews), I would say that even a Menorah would be pointedly inappropriate for a Catholic shrine.

    Symbolism is *extremely* important in religion, and I very seriously advise the architects here to rethink their use of symbols here.
    Someone needs to get this message over to the ArchBishop.


    -Alpin

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  8. Check out the "external links" in the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_symbolism. Most of these links refer to the "star of creation", although none of these sources seemed to be obviously Catholic. I think that it is a confusing symbol.

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