Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Five Favorites: My Favorite Churches to Visit

Time for Five Favorites with Hallie Lord over at Moxie Wife!

Because I am a Catholic musician, I spend a lot of time in Catholic Churches, but there are a few that I prefer to spend time in over all others, for a variety of reasons. These are my five favorite churches for Adoration and Mass.

1.) St. Joseph Church, Plain City, OH

I love to go to St. Joseph's for adoration. It's quiet. It's small. It's accessible and the Blessed Sacrament is right smack-dab front and center. They have adoration almost every day for at least a few hours and they encourage drop-ins. I have spent more than a few hours soaking in the quiet and contemplating the mystery of the Eucharist. (Sorry about the grainy picture.)

2.) Immaculate Conception Church, Columbus, OH
Immaculate Conception is my home parish. It's where I received all my sacraments (except marriage) and it's still one of my favorite churches to visit. Although they have a separate chapel for Perpetual Adoration, I still love the altar of reservation that is located in the actual church, just outside the sacristy. It's not an ideal spot (I miss it being in the center of our beautiful high altar,) but it is a restful place and designed with contemplative prayer in mind. (Sorry, I can't find any pictures of the tabernacle - So you'll have to be content with the interior of the church itself.)

I can remember spending many hours sitting in front of the tabernacle as a teenager, just trying to figure out what I was doing there. That was before I had any understanding of what the Blessed Sacrament actually is. It's still amazing to me that God was calling to me, even then.
3.) St. Patrick Church, Columbus, OH
This is the parish where I raised my children and though it has very limited hours of actual Adoration, it's a wonderful place to spend time in the quiet. Staffed by the Dominican Fathers of the Province of St. Joseph, there is daily access to the Sacrament of Penance. It's not a silent place - it's in the heart of the city and there's a fire station down the street, but the peace there enfolds you like an embrace. I especially love to go there for 7 AM daily Mass. There are between 50 and 60 people there, from kids to elderly people, every day for the early Mass. 

St. Stephen the Martyr as it looks today.

4.) St. Stephen the Martyr Church, Columbus, OH
This is what it looked like until June 2011.
Yes. It is the same place.
This is my current parish and when I started there, it was not much to look at (see picture at right), but our former pastor set about creating something beautiful for God and with prayer, perseverance and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, it happened.

Quiet, clean and intimate, the chapel is located in the basement of the school building, but when no one else is there, you forget that the walls are made of cinder block and the windows are 1960's utilitarian chic. Everything in the chapel draws your attention toward the Blessed Sacrament.

5.) The Shrine of the Conversion of St. Paul, Cleveland, OH

My family and I make a pilgrimage to this shrine twice a year - once in September and once in March. This shrine is the home to the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration and the church is absolutely lovely. Taken over from an Anglican congregation in 1921, the church is high Victorian in structure, but has a couple of surprises. I love the way that they have the Blessed Sacrament set up for Exposition and Adoration. The monstrance is above the Tabernacle in a spot that opens both to the sisters' cloister and to the church. During Mass, the doors are closed to the the church side, but the sisters can continue to adore from the cloister side. The shrine reminds me of St. Patrick's because there are no residences left in the area and it's staffed by order priests (Franciscans) and it's fairly close to downtown.  But unlike St. Patrick's it's not bustling with families. Only a few people venture down for daily and Sunday masses.

Got Five Favorites of your own? (It can be anything at all.) 
Do tell! 
Hop over to Moxie Wife and link up.

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