From the Pastor's Desk
Fr. Dan White, S.J.
December 21, 2014
I hope you noticed coming to church today the absence of scaffolding around our steeple. The work begun in August has finally finished, just in time for Christmas. I want to thank Saint Louis University and McCarthy Construction for their work in restoring the century-old steeple. Interior and exterior repairs have made it better than new.
The origin of the steeple as an important feature of church architecture dates back thousands of years. They seem to derive from the ancient Roman practice of military watchtowers. It makes good tactical sense to see your enemies before they see you. Over time the towers were incorporated into the building of churches.
A veritable “steeple explosion” took place with the coming of Gothic architecture. That style’s emphasis on verticality set the pattern for centuries. The impressive height, at a time when nearly everyone lived in a one-story hut, was meant to convey God’s glory and home in heaven. Like everything else about a Catholic church, the steeple is meant to direct us toward God.
Our steeple is graceful yet solid, and ringed by saints. It thrusts upward yet is rooted in the ground. When I see it, especially at night, it seems to link heaven and earth. Not a bad symbol for our celebration of the One whose birth unites earth to heaven forever.