Basilica News Roundup (vol. 1)
After missing that a new basilica had been announced in the US recently, I decided to set up a Google Alert on the word “basilica”. I’ve gotten some crazy things in my inbox since then, and I thought I would share some from time to time, as they range from humorous to serious to strange.
St. Adalbert’s Basilica in Buffalo, NY held a Polka Mass on July 24. Yup, you read that right – a Polka Mass. A local polka band played at the Mass as part of a fundraising effort to save St. Adalbert’s. The Diocese of Buffalo marked the church to be shut down back in 2007. Since then, the community has appealed the decision to the Vatican twice and lost; the last Mass is scheduled for September 18, 2011. The first church to receive the title of basilica in the US, there is apparently some dispute within the diocese as to whether St. Adalbert’s is actually a basilica (even GCatholic notes “basilica status uncertain”). I feel like a call to the Vatican would clear this up, but apparently not. St. Adalbert’s will still be open for special occasions, such as weddings, funerals, baptisms, and so on, but Masses won’t be regularly scheduled there anymore. I’ve contacted the Diocese of Buffalo to see if I can find out any more on the whole “is it a basilica?” confusion.
Finally, Florence, Italy is deciding whether to complete work on a basilica there that Michelangelo never finished building. The Basilica of San Lorenzo has a gorgeous, finished interior, but the outside is still just brick. Michelangelo intended for the façade outside to be built of all marble and match the majesty of the interior, but – for a variety of reasons – that never happened. There’s a wooden model that remains, which the mayor is hoping will be enough to go on to complete the project. Some residents feel that the unfinished façade is part of the basilica’s history, while others think the outside could use a little facelift.