I love Catholic Churches, and I’ve often said that as a poet, I couldn’t have been raised in a better religion. Iconography, mysteries, martyred saints, the whole lot have at one time or another weaved their way into my writing. This afternoon, my mom and I took a trip to visit St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Naussau Bay, TX to have a look at the gorgeous stained glass and visit the bookstore on site (yes, this grand church has a wonderful religious bookstore on site, at which I bought a biography of St. Theresa of Avila and a lovely silver Celtic cross for my house).
I wasn’t prepared for the stained glass. I expected the usual doves, corpus, angels. This stained glass, however, was different. A little background about the area: this church is literally down the street from NASA. As such, the stained glass displays images of space taken from NASA-donated images taken from the Hubble. Yes: Catholic Church + Science. The result? Breathtaking. Take a look:
I wish this image was bigger, but I took it with the camera on my phone. I didn’t bring a “real” camera with me, as I wasn’t really expecting such beauty. This photo doesn’t do the colors (or size) justice. In the panels on either size of the center are angels amid images from the Hubble. Images of, if you will, the heavens. Another view:
On the right side of the church is a grotto. Inside the grotto is a statue of Mary and behind the statue are stained glass panels, each one depicting her life from Annunciation to Assumption. It’s quite beautiful:
Even if you aren’t religious, the story of how this stained glass came to be and how beautifully it is rendered is enough to make you go take a look. St. Paul’s has posted some better images here, and there was a write-up in the Houston Chronicle about this church. I love how special this church is to the region. I love that at least in one place, and in such a wondrous way, science and faith have come together.