Until a few years ago and for 11 years, I attended the Catholic Church in Whistler, developing an enriching sense of belonging to the religious community, to the essentiality of the building which, through the large windows, highlights the beauty of the mountains and of Creation. , and I also enjoyed the cultural exchange at the various events where the church opened up to the wider community.
Unfortunately, the current pastor cut that umbilical cord for me and others I know in the community (the beauty created by musicians and artists in general generates communion because it unites God, man and creation in a single symphony, said Pope Francis) and at the same time, strong in his authority and with the support of the bishop, he made this plea for the construction of a new church which “inspires and helps to find the Divine” ( see prickJuly 14: “Whistler Catholic Church seeks to expand its footprint and presence, but not all are on board”).
In Europe, the basilicas, although splendid, are increasingly empty, testifying to the deep crisis that Catholicism is going through; similarly, the church in Whistler does not fill capacity for even two days a year.
At this time, we Catholics are exposed to a lot of criticism and tragic legacies: “The best criticism of evil is the practice of the best”, said Richard Rohr, and this should be our response.
The proposed funds to be raised for the new church could certainly facilitate genuine reconciliation programs with Indigenous peoples and all victims of abuse.
Saint Francis, embracing his vow of poverty, love for the universe and feeling nature, always walked barefoot; as an exception to his wish, Pope Gregory IX built (in 25 years) a basilica to include the tomb of the saint.
Does history teach or does it repeat itself?