This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Going to church the Catholic way

(I thought it would be interesting to use Sundays to focus on Rensselaer's churches and to see how many Sundays I can go before I run out of material. Indiana is richly endowed with religious denominations, with influences from North and South, East and West. This is part of that series of posts.)

Saint Augustine Catholic Church is located on McKinley at Angelica. Father Timothy Knepper is the pastor. Masses are on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 and 10:00 a.m.

The building is in a Tudor Gothic style and was erected in 1939 at a cost of $92,000. It is designed to hold 600 people. It replaced an older building that had been built in the 1880s.
The Catholic Church has an episcopal organization, which means that the various parishes are under a bishop. In the Catholic Church, the various bishops are under the pope. Saint Augustine's parish is part of the diocese of Lafayette, and it has a small website that is part of the diocesan website. There is a separate website that allows one to get an e-mail version of the parish bulletin. Also, there is a completely separate website for the parish-sponsored school.

The Catholic Church traces its origin back to a founding by Jesus Christ. Protestant sources are reluctant to grant that history, but differ from one another as to starting date origin of the Catholic Church. The name Roman Catholic was given the Catholic Church by English Anglicans. They argued that they were the English Catholic Church, and wanted to distinguish themselves from the Catholic Church that accepted the Pope. The name Roman Catholic is similar to the name Quakers for the Society of Friends or Mormon for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints--they are in common usage but are not names accepted in official church publications. The name Catholic Church was in use at the start of the second century.

Many of the churches that have been featured on previous Sunday's link to pages that explain their beliefs. The diocese of Lafayette does not do that, nor was I able to find any official site that does. However, there are a number of apologetic sites that have lengthy discussions of the various differences that Catholics have with other Christians and with non-Christians. Some of these sites are better than others.

The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination world wide, and are also the largest Christian denomination in much of the U.S. outside the south as the denominational maps from Valparaiso University show.

Here is the start of the Easter Vigil services on Saturday night. The liturgy for Holy Week is distinctive and unlike that of the rest of the year, reflecting the unique importance of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Happy Easter.

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