Discovering Our Parish

The Church's mission to announce the Good News of the gospel is universal.  As a symbol of this universality the Parish of St. Timothy is capable of welcoming people from the North, South, East, and West since it has an entrance at each of the four cardinal points.  This expresses our desire to reach out to all people.  Having been given equal access into the building from all directions, those who enter are then drawn to the atrium and it's focal point of the baptismal font.  This is the heart and center of the entire facility.

 

The Font

To baptize is to plunge into the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it is to give new life in Christ, it is to die to sin, and to incorporate someone into the body of Christ, the Church.  By baptism we begin our life as a Christian and therefore it is fitting that time spent in this church begins by being drawn towards this visual reminder of our identity. 

The visual quickly gives way to the tactile as the warm flowing water beckons us to touch it and from this naturally follows a desire to sign ourselves with the cross.  This is a pledge to continue to live out our baptism, "to put on Christ" (Gal 3.27) and "to be clothed in love."

(Col 3.14) 

The natural light in the atrium, the flowing waters, the plants surrounding the font serve as reminders of the life giving experience of baptism.  From the font, as from baptism, all activities now take their direction.  The people will seek worship, education and socializing from this point.

 

The Worship Space

During the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) the entire church underwent a "shift" which created new perspectives in many areas, one of which was the way the people of God worshiped.  Placing the emphasis on the "Assembly of Believers" as the primary symbol, fostering "full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy" (SC 14), and rediscovering our baptismal roots has created new demands upon the physical space that is used for worship.  One way of expressing this change of emphasis would be to say that the church building is no longer intended to be primarily the "Temple of God", but first and foremost the "House of the People of God". The difference between a "temple" and a "house" characterizes the new expectations of the building used for worship.

Sacredness should no longer be found in the building itself, but rather in and when the holy people come together for worship.  This is one aspect of our vocation: to be a people who celebrate the Risen Lord and united with Him, intercede for the needs of the world.

 

As you enter the worship space you are welcomed by soft, warm colours, clean lines, and gentle light.  All of these elements create an ambiance of harmony that soothes and calls to worship.  The faces of the people, young and old, will bring life and action to this space that waits in anticipation of the baptized who will gather around the table of the Lord.  Large windows allow for maximum daylight and for a sense of communion with the outside world: a reminder that we do not seek refuge from the world but rather that we live in relationship to it so as to transform it into the Kingdom of God.

 

The Altar

The Altar is the focal point of the worship space.  It is a symbol of Christ and calls for acknowledgement of this fact by a sign of reverence such as a bow whenever we pass by it.  Gone is the need to genuflect before the tabernacle or before entering the pew (chair row).  The real presence of Christ in the Bread of Life is now in the Blessed Sacrament chapel.  The table of the banquet of the Lord is now more square than rectangular: it reminds us more of a table for a meal than an altar for a sacrifice.  As well, it is meant for one presider rather than for several concelebrants.

 

The Ambo

To the right of the altar is the ambo which is the Table of the Word.  This ambo is similar in style and of the same material as the altar signifying a connection between the two tables.  The liturgical documents speak of two tables of equal importance both of which offer us real nourishment for the journey.  Only scripture, the homily, and the prayers of the faithful should be read from this table in order to signify the dignity that is due to the Word of God.

 

The Presider's Chair

The presider's chair to the left of the altar is the third element that is clearly visible when you look towards the altar.  It is of the same material and style as the other 400 chairs showing a communion between he who presides and those who gather for worship.  The chair however does stand alone as an indication that the priest presides over the life of the community in communion with the Bishop and in the name of Christ.

 

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel

The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is a chapel away from the main body of the church.  There the Body of Christ is kept in reserve for communion for the dying (viaticum), for communion for the sick and housebound, and for adoration and private prayer.  In the tabernacle we should have no more on reserve than what is necessary since the primary form of Eucharistic devotion is the reception of communion, ideally under both forms, at a Celebration of the Eucharist.  The light next to the tabernacle remains lit at all times as a sign that we honor the Lord who is eternally present in the Bread of Life.

 

The Reconciliation Room

To the right of the main doors into the worship space is the Reconciliation room.  Furnishings are simple and austere.  A cross and the Bible on a simple table will serve as reminders of our call to follow Christ and of how the experience of reconciliation strengthens us to do so.

The Library

 
 

"Fan into Flame" Relief