Reason one, cheap land, should have a wide appeal for many, especially those who live where real estate is unreal estate. The second reason is closer to my heart, the parish church.
St. Charles was glorious in it’s heyday before the wreckovators came in after Vatican II and installed orange carpet and painted the ceiling mud brown. Don’t even ask, I don’t know. Maybe it was on sale because nobody else would buy it.
Certainly, no crew from “Total Makeover – Ecclesiastical Edition” was involved. Take a look at the first picture, it is from the 1930’s. I’m not sure if they had “applique” in those days, so I’m assuming that the images to either side of the crucifix are frescoes. The ceiling was ornate and the detail work was amazingly delicate. Now this is what a Catholic church is supposed to look like.
According to whom? Why, people with uncommon sense, of course.
I have another picture of the church from 1964, and not much had changed. the altar rail had been painted white, the adoring angels on the outside pedestals of the high altar were gone though the ones directly to either side of the tabernacle remained.
If you really want to see it, let me know. But for now it will suffice to introduce picture number two, or what St. Charles Borromeo in Peru, Indiana looks like today.
Yeah, I know that the unwieldy and, shall we say, uncomely Advent wreath is blocking out a lot of the altar view, but it does show off the neon orange carpet and the brown ceiling.
And so I give you reason number two for moving to Peru. A lot of potential to work with. You see that someone had the foresight to suggest they put the altar out in the nave and wrap some pews around it to the right and left, thereby leaving the high altar undisturbed.
When somebody goes to that length to assault the Catholic sensibilities of the average parishoner, suggesting something completely unheard of and one might say “discontinuous” with tradition, they sometimes leave a base or two uncovered. In the end, it is pretty easy to reverse the ill conceived work of perhaps well meaning but destructive persons.
Another pretty church in the diocese also had the misfortune of enduring such an arrangement. I spoke with the holy priest several years ago after he was installed as pastor, and he didn’t hesitate to bring up the subject of the altar arrangement.
After a campaign to institute perpetual Eucharistic adoration and months and months of down in the street pastoral work, he implemented a church renovation plan that ended up with the results captured in picture number three. So you see, we could have similar results here in Peru with St. Charles.
I say that it wouldn’t take much, but it say it with tongue in cheek. But I’ve seen it happen, right down the road in Kokomo at St. Patrick’s, where the third photo was taken from.
And yes, if you move to Peru, you can tell people that you live just north of Kokomo, and they’ll think you’re in the Florida keys.
St. Charles Borromeo is my domiciled parish, to use a canon law term. And I attend some weekday Masses there, but I attend the parish of my childhood in neighboring Wabash.
Once you get here, we’ll figure it out. Stay tuned for reason number three.