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November 9, 2003  Feast of Consecration of St. John Lateran Jn 2/13-22
Catholic Homilies

November 9, 2003

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Feast of Consecration of St. John Lateran Jn 2/13-22


St. John Lateran’s is the Cathedral church of all the world, the Pope’s home church. Not the Vatican. Though the latter is where the Pope lives these days and where most of the big ceremonies are there, for most of Catholic history the  Pope lived in the Lateran Palace the conclaves took place there. The Cardinals (then really the parish priests of Rome) would choose one of themselves to be the next bishop and would bring him out on the balcony to get the seal of approval (or disapproval) from the lay people of Rome. Today we celebrate the main parish church of Christianity and our own parish churches.

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One upon a time there was this lovely old parish church which the people “downtown” decided to close it and tear it down. It would cost more money to insure the church and maintain it then it brought in from its collections.  Tough decision, but necessary. The neighborhood was almost abandoned and few people came to the Church for Mass. Downtown had closed the school several years ago. Many of the people who had grown up in the parish and had raised their children their were furious. Why tear down such a lovely place. So they had a meeting. One of the men at the meeting brought along a map showing the rapid transit and bus routes through the neighborhood and the projected population movements. In ten years, maybe five, he said. They’ll wish they had this church and school. So they established a foundation and put enough money into it to insure and maintain the church and the school for five years. Downtown still wanted to tear it down, but they didn’t dare.

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Downtown still wanted to tear it down, but they didn’t dare
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