Do Beautiful Churches Produce Vocations?

Father Dwight Longenecker thinks they might along with beautiful liturgy.


We then have to ask what these churches say about the faith, for the church building is a sacramental. It states what we believe. A building, whether we like it or not, is a statement of our values, our faith and our world view. A cheap building with no inner integrity of beauty–a cheap building that is ‘dressed up’ to look Catholic or ‘pretty’ with decorations is superficial and shallow and only skin deep….just like our faith too often I’m afraid! In our superficial, face lift world we build churches that are superficial where the ‘beauty’ is really on ‘pretty’ and skin deep.

What about the liturgy that goes on in such buildings? Too often it also is superficial, sweet and comfortable and skin deep. Does such liturgy and do such buildings inspire vocations? Do they say to our young people, “Look what sacrifices we have made to worship God?” Do they say, “We have given all to build something beautiful for God”? or do they actually say, “It’s okay to give God second best. It’s okay to give him what’s left over.”? Do they come out of the building yawning and wondering what next for Sunday or do they come out full of awe and thankfulness for the beautiful worship of God?

A beautiful church, that required great sacrifice to build, on the other hand–combined with beautiful liturgy and an awesome and reverent worship of God is more likely to inspire the reverence and awe and sacrifice required of our young people who are thinking about a vocation.

Read the whole post here.

What do you think?

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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