This is the spiritual 'home' for about 700 families in "Old Baytown", near Houston, TX.
In this quietly inspiring place, the faithful gather to celebrate the sacraments.
As one enters the nave of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, your attention can be drawn to many beautiful and inspiring works of sacred art.
From the dramatic crucifix over the tabernacle of the high altar, to the stained glass windows, to the moving stations of the cross and much more, this is a place where pilgrims will want to go for prayer and the Holy Mass.
The altar features a beautiful 3D rendition of the Last Supper. One can ponder the sacred mysteries that are both depicted and that really take place here.
It is good to know that a mystery doesn't mean that we can't know anything about the subject. A mystery means we will not know everything about the topic! So when one speaks of the Mass as in regards to the 'sacred mysteries' we can and should understand some of the glorious things that are taking place.
We know that Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper (Mt. 26:26-28), something the Lord spoke about giving us, as recorded in John 6:36-71. We know the Eucharist is the unbloody representation of the once-only sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary . So the Crucified Christ near the altar and the images from the Last Supper are all important reminders of the sacred action that is taking place during the consecration at the Holy Mass.
St. Joseph - the patron saint of this beautiful church - has a nitche on the right side of the nave. In an age when workers often feel they need a friend, when fathers, and many of the faithful also long for a hero - call on St. Joseph! Patron of the Universal Church, a model father, and also known as 'the worker' - this humble carpenter spent years of his life caring for Jesus and Mary. Imagine living in a home with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Being in such hallowed company, it is easy to imagine how sainty Joseph was - and is!
Just standing or kneeling near this statue, Joseph stands humbly clothed, and his tools are in hand. Imagine...Jesus could have been born into any family - yet He choose to be the step son of a working man.
The faithful in this parish have prayer candles available near his statue. St. Joseph...pray for us!
For those who have seen the movie, "The Passion of the Christ" and for those who are familiar with the meditations on the Gospel found in the Rosary, this stained glass window will have much meaning. The Agony in the Garden, the First Sorrowful Mystery is recalled in the window above. Notice the sleeping Apostles. The angel that came to strengthen the Lord, as told in Sacred Scripture.
The image of the Sacred Heart and the foreshaddowing of the crosses on Calvary are among the many things that one can ponder - and pray - from this window. What else do you notice?
The Scouraging of Jesus is the second meditation of the "Sorrowful Mysteries" of the Rosary.
This window reminds us of some of the instruments used to torture Jesus. The cat 'o nine tails was a brutal weapon, used to tear flesh. The chain shown on the left side of the window reminds us that the Lord allowed Himself to be chained up like a criminal - but the real chains where those of His burning love for us sinners!
A child once observed something very profound about sacred souls remembered in stained glass. "They let the Light shine through!" Indeed, that is what we are all called to do - to let the Light of Christ shine in our lives. These images can inspire us as they have millions of souls down through the centuries.
The image above recalls Revelation Chapter 12. "The Woman clothed with the Sun," with 12 stars. It reminds the faithful of the 4th Glorious Mystery of the Rosary, the Assumption of Mary. Some of the symbols are God the Father near the top of the window, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. The rose is the Mystical Rose - Mary. Our Lady is also known as the House of Gold, seen at the left.
The Stations of the Cross at St. Joseph's are quite stunning and instructive. A sample of these are shared below, but you need to come to see all of these soul stirring stations for yourself.
The First Station, depicted in the Movie 'The Passion,' recalls Jesus being condemned to death by Pilate. One sees Pontius Pilate washing his hands, his way of saying he was 'innocent' of the blood of Jesus. But the truth is, we all want to be innocent of the blood of this Man, and we are all - guilty. Notice Jesus is looking out - right at you. He sees the sins that He has freely chose to die for - the ultimate gift of love! Jesus is bound, but it is Love that binds Him and moves the Lord to accept this verdict on our behalf. The guard holding the charge seems to be stepping back, as if stunned, and shouldn't we be stunned that God would love us so much?
In the Thirteenth Station, Mary is holding the dead body of Her Divine Son and Lord. The Apostle John and Mary Magdalene look on, mourning the loss of Jesus. Mary seems to be looking right at us - not unlike the look Jesus has in the First Station. Notice, that Mary is presenting Jesus to all who will see. This is the price of our Salvation! We too are to present the Lord, in suffering, love and glory.
To see more of this sacred art, please visit St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Baytown, TX.
Thank you for taking our tour of St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Please visit this page again soon to see more photos and downloadable pages with more information about this parish, .
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