I must admit, I am jealous. I am currently in a small village in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on business. This is a particularly Catholic part of Germany and so I have seen some things which make me jealous. I am attending a conference in a hotel that was a castle built in the 1700s. In the lobby is a beautiful large crucifix and a nice painting of Madonna and Child. The hotel also has a beautiful chapel from what I hear but, as it has been locked whenever I check it, I have not yet been able to see it.

What I have has the opportunity to see is the Church right across the street from the hotel. This is a very small town but the church is quite large. I went to mass there the morning before last and was stuck with pangs of jealousy.

They have quite a beautiful church here in this small town. It has suffered some damage from the last decades with the removal of the communion rails and the replacement of the stained glass windows with some really awful windows some time in the 70’s. But as you can see, the beautiful high altar remains in tact.

Why am I jealous? Take a look at would be my home parish. (I don’t go there because I am not sure the mass there is even valid, but that is another post.) This place was a former chicken coop. I am not making that up. But that is not the worst of it. Look at our altar.