Evangelising Through Beauty -- It Works !!!


Please watch the above video. (If you're receiving this blog by email, click on the link source to see the video.) What Father Barron is talking about here is spot on. If Catholics want to evangelise; whether that be Protestants or non-Christians in general, then the way to do it is through beauty. It is the starting point. As I opined in my previous blog Converting Protestants -- A Secret Method, the way to bring more people into the Catholic Church (both Protestants and non-Christians alike) is by returning to the historical and traditional beauty of Catholic worship. By this I mean literally EVERYTHING! Bring back the old iconography. Bring back the traditional way of doing mass. Bring back the Eucharistic processions and adorations. Bring back the bells and incense. Bring back the Gregorian chant. This is the KEY! It will work. I promise you it will.

I'm not going to add to what Father Barron said above, because what he said is so complete. Instead I will just repeat what I said in my previous blog entry on this matter. There is no sense in trying to make our Catholic parishes more Protestant-like; whether through music, worship style, art or preaching. The Protestants do that better and they always will. We Catholics will never hold a candle to them in that regard, no matter how hard we try, so please stop trying! Go back to what we know works. Go back to the way things were done a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, and fifteen-hundred years ago. It worked for our ancestors, and it will work for us -- guaranteed.

I will leave you now with a simple picture and an explanation to follow....

Copyright © 2013
, by Shane Stephen Schaetzel
All Rights Reserved
The image is of Saint John's Chapel which sits atop Mercy Hospital in Springfield Missouri.  The figure sitting in the lower left pew is me.  This chapel has very special significance in my life.  I first discovered it in 1993 (twenty years ago) after a job interview at the hospital.  I was a "born again" Evangelical Christian at the time, but I found myself immediately attached to it, because it reminded me of the older Catholic parishes in Southern California.  There were many where I lived out there.  My grandmother was Catholic and so were most of my childhood friends.  So I was very familiar with what the inside of a Catholic church should look like.  I was homesick and this place gave me comfort.  So I started praying there regularly, once a month at least, even though I was a thorough anti-Catholic at the time.  I didn't care.  The beauty of the place drew me in.  It not only reminded me of home, but the sheer gorgeousness of the place was awe inspiring.  There was rarely anyone else there.  It's got to be one of the best kept secrets in the Ozarks.  But it's easy accessibility, both in the day and night, for those who know where it is, insured that over the course of a decade I would spend many hours there.  In time I became familiar with the iconography and the symbolism behind it.  This drew me in further, and as I researched and studied, through the course of my conversion process, I eventually came to understand the significance of the Eucharist presence kept in the tabernacle behind the high altar.  It wasn't long after that I converted to Catholicism.  Now granted, this is not isolated.  There were many other things going on in my life which led me to the Catholic Church, but I would be negligent if I failed to mention this important piece of the tapestry.  I was evangelised through beauty.

There is only one other Catholic parish in Springfield that could provoke a similar response in me, but that one is usually locked up when not in use.  I didn't even know of it's existence until after I became Catholic.  Not to disparage any of the other Catholic parishes in Springfield, but to be perfectly honest, none of the rest could have evangelised me through beauty in the way this little chapel did at Mercy Hospital.

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Comments

William Bedford said…
I could not agree with you more. I thank God that our Parish has everything that you mentioned and more. (Our Lady of the Atonement, San Antonio)
Matthew M said…
Shane-
Is Saint Augustine's still functioning? Do you meet here? The old link no longer works or at least doesn't show anything Ordinariate.
You're lucking to have a place. I live in the Inland Empire and there is nothing here. All the churches have gone modernist. I grew up in Akron, Ohio area and we had wonderful churches back in the day.
When we moved out here in '65 I didn't notice churches that much until after I got back from the military in 1970.By then the abomination of desecration was under way. Only Saint Boniface in Anaheim held out for as long as they could. I moved out of that area so I don't know what happened. I'm planning on leaving,selling out this year or next. Might move to Dallas/Fort Worth area of the Republic of Texas.
Shane Schaetzel said…
Matthew, we are still meeting once a month. Here is the new website: http://anglo-catholics.blogspot.com/
I'm telling you, that's what worked for me. Now I've been Catholic for 5 years. When will some of these church leaders listen?
MichelleP12 said…
Love, love this beautiful story...and now that Holy Chapel. I have aeen it, thanks to this story and my guide on how to find it was my good friend and neighbor (an Assembly of God, no less! 😉).