St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

What's new for St Joseph and St Mary Parishes!


Leave a comment

Symbolism in the Church #8

On the far sides of the reredos of the high altar there are certain, what I will call, cut-outs of the wood. These “cut-outs” leave shadows on the wall behind the high altar. These shadows leave an image of three candles on the wall that increase in height as they go in. These are symbolic of the procession of the saints ascending into heaven as they sing their praises to God. They are going up to their heavenly place that has been prepared for them. They are entering the heavenly kingdom. These candles that are depicted on the wall have, above each one, something similar to sparkles. It is as if they are the halos of each person that gets such a high privilege of being with the company of the Holy. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Symbolism in the Church #7

At first glance, we can see that the high altar is a great castle. It symbolizes the great castle that the Father in Heaven has made a room for us to live in when it comes to the last days of our pilgrimage of life. It is a place where we find rest and all that is right and holy. Judging by this castle, it is a place where our Heavenly Father has quite the spread prepared for us. I wonder how much chocolate there will be? Continue reading


Leave a comment

Symbolism in the Church #6

The high altar does not stand alone like the front altar. Most noticeably, it has what is known as the reredos. They are decorations that extend from the back of the altar to help focus on the sacrifice on the altar, the same sacrifice that lives in the tabernacle. Ours here at St Joseph is very rich in symbolism and teaching moments, more than in most I find.
First, the gold reminds us of the majesty of God. It is most evidently a golden palace. How many grandparents take their grandchildren to church here and the kids get it? It’s a great castle! Yes, a great golden castle for Jesus. That is truly where He lives, at the very center, the tabernacle. And in this majestic castle, we are invited to live, too, because in this castle there are many rooms for us (John 14:2-3). Jesus has prepared a room for you. Which room is it? Are you like the foundation or pillars and sturdy? Are you close to the heart of God, in the center? Has God risen you to lofty heights? Or are you by the arms of the reredos, always in His embrace? Or are you by the slain lamb from the long suffering of this life? … Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Symbolism in St Joseph Church #5

The seven windows that remind us of the seven sacraments illuminate the altar and the sacrifice that happens there. From this sacrifice, we can understand and gain the wisdom of God that good can come from such suffering. This is made more evident by the graces we receive in the sacraments because of the suffering of the cross that Jesus endured for us. Continue reading


Leave a comment

The Symbolism in St Joseph Church #3

Jesus leads us through the storms of this life: all our uncertainties, sufferings and joys, both individually and communally. Sometimes we “see how strong the wind {is, we} become frightened” (Mt 14:30) and start wondering why He is leading us to such turbulent territory. We question if He is even leading us or if He cares. But He has the helm. He has His boat under control. He is leading His Church to the safety of the dock. The winds and the waves may be pushing this old barc and our very lives around, but we still have nothing to fear as Jesus is the one who leads us. He is the one who saves us (Mt 14:30-31). Continue reading