The symbolism of St. Gerard’s is that of a roadway, depicting the travel of a pilgrim people of God through life. The saints surround us to give example and lead the way. In St. Paul’s in Rome there are no pews. The message was conveyed that we are all moving together and assembling and walking together hand in hand. If we sit down, it is only momentarily before we are called to go on again.
When we come to the end of the roadway, which is symbolic of the end of our journey through life, we arrive in the Arch of Triumph, or, at the end of your life, at the gate of Heaven, depicted in the dome.
The arch depicts the victory of Jesus over sin and death. When we enter the church through Baptism, we enter through the archway to share the victory of Christ. The Eucharistic table, where we partake of the Bread and Wine, is directly under the archway. Under the archway, we are confirmed; here we join together in marriage; here we anoint our sick; here we finally bring our dead to celebrate the Mass of the Resurrection as they go on before us to the Gate of Heaven.
Reconciliation takes place along the way, off to the side, away from the greatest traffic, because we all know, we cannot enter the City of God until we are all reconciled with one another.
St. Gerard’s Church is not only a house of worship. It is a prayer in stone, plaster, wood and glass. It is a prayer offered by all who sacrificed so that it could be built. It is a prayer by those whose hands shaped it and a prayer by those who came to enjoy and worship in this most magnificent House of God.
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