Fr. Dan White, S.J.
July 20, 2014
Our church steeple will soon be surrounded by scaffolding. An engineering survey last fall discovered a significant crack near the top. Over the next few months workers will repair the crack as well as make other improvements. It will not look very pretty, but I believe it better than the alternative.
Church steeples came to prominence during the period of Gothic architecture. They captured the sense of verticality that was typical of the art form. A church was to raise one’s heart and mind to God on high. Soaring upward, the great gothic churches connected earth and heaven.
Steeples are prevalent in this country cutting across all Christian denominations. One could argue the steeple was the church symbol for most of American history. Remember, Here’s the church, here’s the steeple …? Some (like ours) are functional in that they contain a belfry and clock face. Others are simply decorative.
The College Church steeple was completed a little over 100 years ago. It is quite striking at nearly fifteen stories tall and located on one of the highest spots in the city. Driving west on Olive Blvd. the top can be seen as far away as 14th street! Our restored steeple will continue to fulfill its purpose: to remind us of God.