Reflecting Heaven Part 6: Ceiling Murals

05-30-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Sacred Art has a way of bringing the Sacred Scriptures to life. Often times I’ve found myself inspired by the art that makes the Word of God come alive. Sacred Art in churches often depicts scenes from Sacred Scripture which are meant to lift our hearts and minds to heaven. Sacred images have often helped me contemplate the readings and homilies on Our Lord and the faith of Mary, Joseph, and the people found throughout Sacred Scripture.


Reflecting Heaven Part 5: Apse Mural and the Stained Glass

05-25-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

“In the Christian community’s place of prayer, art evokes and glorifies ‘the transcendent mystery of God—the surpassing invisible beauty of truth and love visible in Christ.’ Therefore the ‘Church entrusts art with a mediating role, analogous, we might say, to the role of the priest or, perhaps better, to that of Jacob’s ladder descending and ascending. Art is meant to bring the divine to the human world, to the level of the senses, then, from the spiritual insight gained through the senses and the stirring of the emotions, to raise the human world to God, to his inexpressible kingdom of mystery, beauty, and life.’”

– Built of Living Stones §142


Reflecting Heaven Part 4: Summer Edition Overview

05-19-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

A blessed welcome to all, whether visitor, newcomer, or daily Mass participant at St. Bernadette! Christmas is coming early!! The great Solemnity of the Nativity of our Lord, perhaps beyond all other feasts of the year, is one of beauty and mystery. In the cold of a winter’s night (which is nice to think about in the summer in Arizona), we reflect on a heavenly star beaming upon a tiny stable in an obscure village called Bethlehem, drawing worshipers from foreign lands. We wonder at the story of humble shepherds keeping watch over their flocks, startled into awe and action by the “multitude of the heavenly host.” And most of all, the beauty of the Christmas season helps us ponder the mystery of all mysteries and wonder of all wonders: the God of heaven and earth takes on the flesh of the frailest humanity, the infant of a poor couple reduced to sheltering in a place so humble it is fit only for animals.


Reflecting Heaven Part 3: The Narthex & Nave

05-16-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Last week we looked at the idea of the church building being a reflection of Heaven on earth. That “form within a Form” begins on the outside, with the roof peak reaching to heaven, bells ringing out joy (and sometimes tolling sorrow) in the community, and all topped off by the ultimate Christian symbol of Christ’s victory, the cross. But the image of Heaven on earth reaches its fullest expression on the inside, where the Church (the living people of God, the “living stones” of St. Peter’s letter) gathers in the church building.


Reflecting Heaven Part 2: The Church as Heaven on Earth

05-12-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

As set out in last week’s article, the upcoming renovation at St. Bernadette is not a renovation of the entire building, but only the worship space itself – that is, the sanctuary and the nave. Next week we’ll look at exactly what the sanctuary and the nave are, but first let’s look at why they are the focus of this project.

At the turn of the millennium, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published Built of Living Stones: Art, Architecture, and Worship (BLS), giving guidance and direction to designers and builders of Catholic churches. BLS draws heavily on previous Church documents, including those of the Vatican Council II.


Reflecting Heaven: Notes on the St. Bernadette Sanctuary Renovation

05-02-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

What’s happening? And why?

Spring time each year brings new beginnings – this is a perfect time to reflect upon and celebrate the great mysteries of our life in Christ. This year at St. Bernadette, Spring brings with it signs of physical change, as well. You may have heard about the murals, the windows, the organ, and the grotto. Over the next several weeks, through this series of reflections, you will learn the what and the why this is incredible blessing is happening in our parish.