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2015 Road Trip Photos #28: The Spirit in St. Louis

Joan of Arc!

Soon as you enter the nave of St. Louis Cathedral, on one side of you Joan of Arc is risen above.

Our first indoor stop on Day Four that wasn’t a restaurant was the grand St. Louis Cathedral, centerpiece of New Orleans’ Jackson Square and one of the oldest cathedrals in America. The outside id distinct in its own right, but the interior decorations and designs were impressive in their own right, even the parts identical to what you see in other, newer, more modest churches. There’s something about such a venerable structure that elevates even the most mundane details toward a greater spiritual presence.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

This year’s trip began as a simple idea: visit ostensibly scenic New Orleans. Indianapolis to New Orleans is a fourteen-hour drive. Between our workplace demands and other assorted personal needs, we negotiated a narrow seven-day time frame to travel there and back again. We researched numerous possible routes, cities, and towns to visit along the way in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. We came up with a long, deep list of potential stops, but tried to leave room for improvisation…

You saw the Cathedral in the last three chapter — twice from the outside, and once in all its cavernous splendor from last week’s most-Liked MCC post. This, I think, is our only exterior shot without the Andrew Jackson statue blocking the front.

St. Louis Cathedral!

Whenever we forgot we were in the South, the trees nudged their way into our photos to remind us.

The doors open no later than 9 a.m. daily, earlier than all the other Jackson Square businesses. Hence its preferential scheduling here.

Mini-Nativity!

Note the modern world intruding on consecrated ground.

Votives!

The Cathedral is no historical relic for mere display purposes. It retains an active Roman Catholic congregation and provides the same services as any other regardless of age or stature.

Picture Bible!

…though there are historical items on display. Group tours available.

Louis IX!

Standing opposite Joan of Arc above our heads is its namesake King Louis IX of France, who was canonized in 1297.

St Louis Ceiling!

Alternate shot of the ceiling that made a cameo in Part 26.

Chancel!

The chancel contains one of the most ornate displays, several feet beyond visitors’ reach. My aunt is a freelance artist who’s done restoration work on statues like these for congregations in her area.

Altar + Painting!

Alternate altar and painting off to one side of the chancel.

Stained Glass!

Obligatory stained glass, much fancier than I’m accustomed to seeing. Our home church is non-denominational Christian and has very little window art, none of it in storytelling mode.

Simon + Jesus!

A tiny wall hanging of Simon and Jesus reminding us why we’re here.

PJP2 Sign!

The closest thing we saw to “celebrity” within those walls — a sort of “brush with greatness” marker.

To be continued!

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date. Thanks for reading!]

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About Randall A. Golden
Hoosier since birth, geek since age 6, father at 22, Christian at 30; launched Midlife Crisis Crossover at 39. Full-time service rep; part-time internet contributor; former message board admin; inhabits Twitter as @RandallGolden. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of any other corporation, being, or party line.

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