A timeless expression of man’s devotion to God
From the Patrician (1929):
“A preacher once said, ‘Man’s thoughts of his God have never yet found fitting expression.’ No doubt the statement is true, but to the thoughtful observer of the interior of Saint Patrick’s, and especially to one who examines the details, there comes the thought that man has exhausted his finite powers to express his love and devotion to his Creator.
“Father Dwyer has munificently restored and beautified Saint Patrick’s. To the original Gothic structure have been added Our Lady’s Chapel, Saint Joseph’s Chapel, the Shrine of the Sacred Heart and the Shrine of Saint Patrick, all following the architectural lines of the original…
“The whole interior of the ‘renewed’ church impresses the observer with solidarity, and why not? Artisans across the sea have delved into the bowels of the earth in the ancient and well-known Cararra quarries, to obtain the material for the polished slabs, the decorative panels, and the artistic statues which produce this impression. Approximately one hundred fifty tons of Italian marble have been built in the new Saint Patrick’s. Its marble aisles lead to a marble sanctuary, a fitting setting for its three magnificent marble altars. Just within the beautifully carved Cararra altar rail, to the extreme right and left of the sanctuary, are the Shrine of Saint Patrick and of the Sacred Heart, the creamy white of the statuary marble standing out in strong contrast to the decoration of the niche in which it stands. The Munich windows and the rich mural decorations of the sanctuary supply just enough color to give the rich but dainty effect which results.
“The ceiling and side walls of the church and vestibule are finished in Caen stone effect in three tones, with ribs and groined arches of limestone supported by highly polished pillars of Bottecino marbles. These light shades together with the light grey of the Sienna marble wainscoting are in strong contrast with the wrought iron and bronze lanterns with their amber light and the harmonizing but still darker pews.
“Words are a poor medium to convey to the reader a picture of the beauty of our new Saint Patrick’s. Moreover, the attempt would be incomplete without a mention of the new organ, which adds so much to the ‘fitting expression’ of our love for God. To fully appreciate the new Saint Patrick’s you most both see and hear and you will exclaim with the psalmist:
“‘I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house, and the place where Thy glory dwelleth.’”