In Search of the Sacred

How many times have you passed by an interesting-looking building and wished you could go inside?

On Saturday and Sunday, May 29th and 30th, the City of Toronto opened the doors to Toronto's architectural wonders! This annual event is called “Doors Open Toronto”. Faith Connections decided to make it a more meaningful event and organized a “Hike and Prayer” for the Saturday afternoon.

The Adventure Begins

That Saturday, around 30 of us met up in front of St. Michael's Cathedral at 1:30 pm. Faces of all ages and backgrounds, some whom I remember from the Busy Person's Retreat earlier this year, greeted me warmly. Some had an “exotic” story. Three American girls came from Detroit to visit a friend for the Memorial Day weekend. They searched the internet for what's going on, and decided to spend the day with us!

Our “Hike and Prayer” program highlighted six places to visit, including the Ontario Heritage Centre and Regis College. At each spot, we were to ask ourselves: “Did this space evoke a sense of the Sacred? Why or why not?”

Let's talk about our first location: St. George Greek Orthodox Church (pictured above).

Faith in colour

Outside, it looks like an ordinary building. Inside, it is a wonder of colour, history, and art. This is St. George's Greek Orthodox Church on 115 Bond Street. The vividness of the colours inside this Orthodox church is awe-inspiring. The iconography is the story of faith written in colour, an exposition of theology through art.

When the tour was over, we reflected on what we saw. We were touched by how this place was so God-centered in every way. Also, the reverence for Mary in a few Marian icons was so apparent. Our tour guide told us: “She is considered wider than the heavens because she contained in her womb what even the heavens could not contain.”

Reflecting on our heritage

In “Build the City of God”, Pope John Paul II encourages us to be builders. We must build a civilization of love, brick by brick, within the city of man. I learned on Saturday that each of us is a builder on a spiritual level. And we should also pray for the people who build such wonderful works of art in our city. May each building they work on embody something of God.

by Mary Rose Bacani