Sunday, October 04, 2009

Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California

Santa Paula is about an hour and a half from where I live, and yesterday I drove on up, just because I could. (And because Thomas Aquinas College seemed like a cool place and I wanted to see it for myself.) I planned to arrive in plenty of time for the 7:30 AM Mass.

I should have left earlier. I arrived right at 7:30 AM and I wasn't sure whether I was late for Mass or not. This is the humble little entrance to the chapel:

And these are the imposing front doors.

Over them a Latin inscription in gold reads, "This is the house of God and the gate of Heaven-- so don't come waltzing in here late!"

I mustered my courage and pushed one of the heavy doors open. Mass hadn't started yet, thank goodness. :)

It was a TLM, very lovely. Here's a shot of the chapel that I took from the choir loft after Mass. You can see the coat of arms of Benedict XVI on the floor, and John Paul II's arms were there too. I thought that was a nice touch.

Afterward I walked around the campus. Didn't take long; it's a tiny college.

One thing I noticed was that no matter where I was, no matter what perspective I was looking from,

the chapel was the tallest and most noticeable feature of the scene.

Like in a medieval town.

Imagine the effect on the psyche of the people when their church is always visible, looming over everything else. And everyone goes to the same church.

When the sun had risen a bit and I returned to my car, I saw that it was the only car in the lot that had shade, because the shadow of the bell tower was falling on it. Turning around, I saw the sun perfectly eclipsed, and thought it made a pretty cool photograph.

Thus endeth my photo walking tour. :)


JimAroo said...

Two points:
1st point: My on line English to Latin translator exploded when I asked it to translate :"This is the house of God and the gate of Heaven-- so don't come waltzing in here late!"

Actually the translator is so poor....that it insisted on translating the word "heaven" as olympus instead of some form of the word caelum.

2nd Point

From my front door I can see the lit cross of St. Peter Chanel when the leaves thin out in Winter. I can always see the cross from the driveway by my garage. But sad to say few people here go to St. Peter Chanel. But Mrs. Aroo and I are living in the shadow of the Blessed sacrament at all times.

You don't have to believe in wood burning stoves or even know that one is on to be warmed by the heat of the stove. The Sacrament has a peace bringing effect on even those without the knowledge or understanding of its reality.

Linda said...

Beautiful photos! We'll have to visit sometime. So glad you weren't late :-)!

Orate Fratres said...

What a magnificent chapel! Reminds me of the Immaculata at the University of San Diego.

Ashley R. said...

So beautiful. It makes me happy to know some places are sunny. Unlike grey indiana during the fall

Rachel Gray said...

Jim, I wonder how one would translate "waltz" in Latin?

Also, just so you know, if I should ever be so lucky as to live under the same roof as the Blessed Sacrament, I will most certainly find a way to gloat about it to you. Piously, of course.

Linda, even the NO Masses at TAC are in Latin with beautiful chant and Communion at the altar rail. Excellent homilies, too, although they're too short!

Orate, you're right about the similarity. And Ashley, we always like to call our back-East relatives around Christmastime and complain that we're having too much sun. :)