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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
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.