Tufts U. Catholic center sold

Tufts U. Catholic center sold

The Archdiocese of Boston has sold the campus Catholic chaplaincy building to Tufts University. It’s another sign of the archdiocese continuing to divest itself of accreted baggage it doesn’t need. I endorse the impulse to simplify so that we can focus the mission of the Gospel and not maintaining real estate. The sale price is a drop in the bucket, but it highlights the Franciscan ideal that Archbishop O’Malley has brought with him to us to our great benefit.

“It’s still the Catholic Center at Tufts, it’s just a University-owned building,” University Chaplain David O’Leary said. “Before, it was the Catholic Center at Tufts in a building owned by the Archdiocese of Boston.”

Under the new agreement, the Archdiocese will lease the building from the University until 2009, at which time the Catholic Center will need to find a new space. The Center is under the direction of the Archdiocese.

1 comment
  • What is really is the “Franciscan ideal”? Yes, it represents a certain simplicity regarding a plan of life. A rule of poverty that governs all aspects of the Franciscan rule. St. Francis not only literally rebuilt and built church buildings, but would consider only the finest art, vestiture and architecture worthy of the King of Kings. The only acceptable opulance, considered by St. Francis was to be directed to sacred places as shrines, oratories and the House of God (domus Dei). The visual richness of this Franciscan tradition was to serve as a foreshadowing of the Kingdom of God to the world. It drew from centuries of rich tradition.

    Sadly, there appears to a painful ignorance of the value of iconography in our day. Instead, it has been replaced by a form of iconoclasm that is driven by the egalitarianism of the day. It is also sad to treat any sacred space merely as gathering place for the People of God (domus Populi). An ephemeral “worship space” of a Pilgim People, if you will. The value of an architecture that represents the court, throne room and temple where our Sovereign King is present is lost upon many moderns. This is a reflection of the current state of our visual impoverishment and what value we now attach to such space. The understanding that sacred space should convey both the glory and permanence of Eternity through beauty seems to be increasingly lost by a culture that is in a constant state of revolution. It often appears we have begun to institutionalize and enshrine upheaval as a good. The irony is Truth is ever constant and the challenge is how to present this to a culture of noise and constant restlessness.

    The modern day parallels to the exiled Israelites simply providing a tent for the Ark of the Covenent is astounding. Should we rid ourselves of church buildings altogether? After all, were not the Israelites were a roving caravan in the desert? There is a striking similarity to our life pilrimage to Eternity.

    On another note, we must be discerning when we draw any conclusion that the fruit of any Catholic apostolate is mere “accreted baggage”. Obviously, I agree the Church must respond effectively to the changing nature of the world. As is well known, Protestant revolutionaries went down the slippery slope of embracing Luther’s Sola Scriptura, rejecting Catholic tradition as “popish superstition” filled with unnecessary “accretions”.

    In the Protestant attempt to reach back to the “purity and simplicity” of apostolic times, the teaching authority of the Magisterium and Sacred Tradition was roundly rejected. The collective wisdom of centuries of Church teaching was summarily dismissed in their new understanding of the Deposit of Faith. This was tantamount to rejecting that the Holy Spirit was operative in the Church since the earliest days. Consider, if one had a 50 year old’s understanding of reality, would it be wise or even feasible to return to a 5 year old’s understanding of the same?

    My two cents.