Saturday, November 14, 2015

THANKS TO TWO UNITED METHODISTS WHO SAVED SACRED HEART CHURCH: PETER KNOX, SR. AND PETER KNOX, JR. RIP

From the Augusta Chronicle:

In many ways the saving of Sacred Heart Church in Augusta, Georgia (Diocese of Savannah) is a miracle.

Peter Knox, Jr. who died of cancer in the late 1990's was quite willing, I think, to return the church to the Catholic Diocese of Savannah if a case could be made for preserving it properly by the Catholic Church in Augusta. But of course that meant the bishop had to support such a move and the local pastors had to look beyond their own congregationalism to the larger picture of having a shrine in Augusta they would support with their parish's treasure. That unfortunately would not happen without top down leadership.

I personally feel that Catholics should be allowed to use it for both weddings and funerals and that Mass should be allowed for special occasions. Currently none of these are options by diocesan policy.

Oddly enough I have been able to get Catholics a dispensation from form of marriage to be married there by a Protestant Minister. I simply was present and offered a prayer. How odd is that!!!! This was in the late 1990's early 2000's.

I knew the wife of the late Peter Knox who allowed us to have a Solemn Sung Evening Prayer in the cultural center for its 100th anniversary of it dedication. I was honored to preside.

As well I presided at their annual Ecumenical Lessons and Carols during the Advent Christmas Season. We also had an interfaith Service there for the first anniversary of 9/11 in 2002. We had Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and other religious leaders each offering prayers in their own tradition and the congregation joining as they felt able. It was quite beautiful and saw a church (cultural center) full of people of all walks of life present.

Thank you to the Knox family and their on-going love for this building. Maybe one day it might be resurrected as a Catholic Church, but in the meantime these Methodists are being good stewards of this architectural gem!

2 comments:

TJM said...

what a stunning Church and how fortunate this Methodist guardian angel came along. I also pray that Holy Mass may be offered there again. Deus Vult!

Anonymous said...

Given the continuing white flight of many Richmond County residents to Columbia County (Richmond County grew hardly at all between 2000-2010, less than 1,000 people), I don't see how downtown Augusta can support two Catholic churches, and with St. Marys on the Hill closeby. I would assume (Father M of course would know better) that Holy Trinity on Telfair Street does not have an overcrowding problem. It is like up north, where many parishes had to close with members left for the suburbs. Also unfortunate is to have the John Calhoun Expressway pass not far from the front of the church, marring the view somewhat. I don't know what prompted Augusta to build what must be one of the world's shortest expressways, about two and a half miles long!!!