Last year, L’Eglise de Notre Dame de l’Assumption, in the old fishing port of Arichat, Nova Scotia, celebrated its 175th anniversary. Its twin spires overlook the bay where John Paul Jones, to Americans a hero but to loyal Canadians a pirate and a traitor, once trained his guns, and sure enough, near the corner of the cemetery beside the church, there stands a big cannon pointed at the water. No pirate will be sailing into Arichat Bay. Americans and Canadians are fast friends. Yet that doesn’t mean that the church will see its two hundredth year. It’s not pirates we must fear, but the termites of resignation.continue at Crisis Mag
I’ve walked about that still beautiful church, built by ordinary French fishermen, once the first Catholic cathedral in Nova Scotia, and wondered why any priest with any understanding of human nature or the beauty of our faith would countenance its closing. I say “still beautiful,” because when came the Decades that Taste Forgot, some of the beauty was whitewashed or discarded or destroyed. But not all; the parishioners rose up and said, “No more!” The parishioners themselves installed the new heater some years ago when the pastor was away. They have done the painting and the repairing. They raised the money to restore the old pipe organ from Philadelphia, one of three such in existence. They have mortared the steps with their sweat. Their ancestors rest in the cemetery, except for the few who with the old pastors over are entombed within the church, beneath stones engraved and marked in gold.
As his so happens I got some great advice on a Dante translation from a friend. He highly recommended Anthony Esolen's set, which I'll be picking up in the next month or so.