Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
August 28, 2006
WCR Letters to the Editor
Applause for new chapel
When I first heard of theproposed chapel in the heart of Edmonton, I envisioned something similar to those at airports in Vancouver, Toronto and Montr‚al, where one moment Catholics celebrate the Eucharist, and in another, Muslims stretch out to pray.
Such a gesture would certainly be noble, especially towards Muslims who under recent circumstances are being vilified as terror-mongers. But what might be most important is that the chapel not become perceived as just another church.
Other cities have impressive churches in their downtown, notably Montr‚al with its Queen of the World Basilica next to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, and the famous Notre Dame de Lourdes near the Stock Exchange, not to mention Anglican and United churches close by on Ste. Catherine.
But a small chapel is far more intimate and inviting as a place of prayer.
The idea could be enlarged on its "reaching out," nationally and even internationally, by benefiting from its location just next to the LRT stop at Churchill Square.
Brochures could be placed at the airport.
Also, rural parishes and those in the city where there are few Masses during the week might be invited to come and celebrate memorial anniversaries in a central shopping area.
The entrance should refer to Chapelle St-BenoŒt as well as St. Benedict's Chapel even though it will obviously be primarily English, and the signature event might be a daily noon Mass, probably at 12:20 to give everyone time to get there.
The unique "oasis of peace and serenity" could well become an icon rivalling West Edmonton Mall as a Canadian identity.
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