Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Families Pay for True Beauty in USA and France: What About Wales?

The Bush Family's Paving Stone, in Florida.
I have to admit that when George W Bush came to power I hoped for great things. The word was out that America was going to have a Pro-Life President. After years of Clinton (and all his shenanigans viz Ms Lewinski etc. which we'd best blow over) it all seemed too good to be true.

Without getting too political: it was. But hey, on our recent sojourn Stateside we came across this - which we took a picture of. It's a sponsored paving stone at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Universe.

If this did come from G.W. Bush & Co. I'm not sure if a paving stone makes up for a war that ruined a lot of lives, American, British and Iraqi. As his brother was Governor of Florida maybe it was his and not George W's.

But what a great idea to pay for a shrine! Seeing all the many hundreds of names of individuals and families there, made you realise how much Faith still means to people. Great to see all the Polish, Italian, Hispanic, German, Irish and other sounding names too (reminds you of American history).

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Paris
Wouldn't it be marvelous to have something like that here too? I do have my name on a slab at the home of Welsh rugby, Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, but how great would it be to have the opportunity to have something similar?... If only the Catholic Church here had the cajones to build something big, brassy, traditional, inspiring and breathtaking - especially in honour of the Mother of God. Now we've got over (please say we've got over!) all the 1960s liberal claptrap, happy clappy roller-disco churches with modern art windows with tabernacles hidden off in the cloakroom, let's build a great shrine!

Anyone seen Montmartre? The Basilica of the Sacred Heart there is breathtaking. I mean really breathtaking! Money for its construction came from parishes from across France. I was there back in the early 90s (heard a Latin Mass there - quite a memory!) and I recall someone telling me that it was known as the church raised by the pennies of the faithful, who gave what they could afford.

I was reading recently how the National Shrine of Wales in Cardigan (Our Lady of the Taper) is not very conducive to raising one's soul to heaven. So there's an idea. A new National Shrine. I'm sure the Archbishop of Cardiff reads this blog, when he's not catching up on the latest news from the Bluebirds, so there's your next move Your Grace. And put me down for a paving stone.

Or maybe we can get an even bigger Basilica in Wales, even one dedicated to the Sacred Heart atop Penylan Hill, perhaps then we'll beat France more often in the rugby ;-) We could ask Shane Williams to pay up for the first paving stone.

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