Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still Divine ... San Francisco





I attended a trade show at the Moscone Center in SF earlier this week and was really amazed by what I found in and around the convention center on the back sides of huge buildings like the Sony Metreon.

For example, behind the Moscone Center there is this sprawling children's center complete with a carousel, a kid's digital museum, playground, ice skating rink and cafe. Wandering around, I found a lush park with rolling green hills and a water fountain that turns into a water fall down below. This was accentuated with an outdoor exhibit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. With more exploring and I found a statue of a man with 3 hands on each arm and some very large modern art.

This flowed into beautiful, gothic St. Patrick's Church - a monolithic structure made of brick that called to me like a beacon in the middle of this modern, chic metropolis. This was very convenient, as I hadn't been to confession in a few months, and had neglected to do so during the Christmas season. To boot, it was lunch hour and I could feel good about making the time to confess without feeling like I was playing hookie. Sure enough, they were offering confession until 12:10 pm and I slid in just in time. The inside of the church was beautiful, tall, antiquated and so detailed in the way that only a Catholic Church can be - words fail to describe its beauty.

Upon leaving St. Patrick's I felt really relaxed going out into blue, sunny skies that only the Bay Area can offer in mid-January. Two things really struck me:

1. Where else can you find gigantic modern architecture, a Mexican folklore museum and a trendy Indian cafe on the backside of an ancient brick church?

2. I live one block away from my home Parish and I haven't been able to find the time to confess on Saturday afternoons filled with birthday parties, recitals, sports and endless errands. Yet here I was an hour from home in the middle of the Paris of the Western Hemesphere, known for its extreme liberalism, and confession came to me.

Who says divinity doesn't exist in our world?