Photo of New Church

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Theology of our Church Building

Theology of our New Church

The St. Catherine of Sweden parish church is adorned with many Christian symbols. Some are subtle; some not so. As you approach the church from the road, you see three roofs rising, one above the other. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit come to mind.

Incorporated within the church in various places are eight crosses or crucifixes all calling to mind Jesus' death on the cross.

We are reminded of the Blessed Trinity by groups of three.  The stained glass windows surround the nave of the church. Beginning at the left of the altar, the windows are arranged in groups of three.  Also, three rectangular inserts are found on the base of the tabernacle stand as well as the front of the pulpit. The altar itself stands on three legs adorned with three similar rectangles.

The stained glass windows, twenty-seven in all, that surround the nave tell the story of faith.  Beginning at the left side, the first window is called Creation. The story of the windows then proceeds through Old Testament themes to the birth of John the Baptist.  The nine windows behind the tabernacle tell the story of the life of Jesus from his birth to his Ascension into heaven. The nine windows on the right side of the nave tell the story of the church from Pentecost through the ages including the history of our parish to the Day of Judgment.

As we sit in the church, we note that the colors of the floor are the colors of the earth, indicating our connection to creation.  We observe that the floor of the sanctuary is done in green granite flecked with black to remind us both of the earth and the coal under the earth in which our community has its roots.  The altar, as well as the pulpit and tabernacle stands, are topped with black granite to further the theme that our parish community and the larger community have their roots in the coal mining industry.

As we raise our eyes heavenward, we are able to glimpse the heavens through the clear windows of the celestory, reminding us of our true home and goal.

There are many more symbols within our church but the greatest symbol is the church itself.  This church is a symbol of faith, hope and love.  Faith in our God, hope in our future and love for one another and all the world.