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'Standing on Holy Ground'.

Of all the neglected places in church, after the confessional, I'm sure it is the floor. Perhaps, that's for good reason. After Mass, and the fourteen feet with which our children grind mud, raisins, mittens, and run-away cheerios under their soles, what lies beneath the pew is not always pretty. To boot, the carpet doesn't always start out in good shape. I make a mental list of recent ecclesiastical surfaces over which my feet have shuffled: there's the tooth-paste green rug of St. Patrick's; I see now the industrial-grade pile at St. Joseph the Worker; I hear the click of a lady's heel skipping across the kitchen-floor tile of Our Lady of Perpetual Poverty. Still, it is a pity. A church floor ought to offer more than a place of refuge for squirming toddlers.

Recall that Moses took off his sandals. While the pilgrims at Jerusalem swung their festive palms, they covered the earth with their coats. Indeed, wherever the Lord rests, there we stand on holy ground.

At Thomas More College, where I teach, besides reading the Great Books, everyone learns to decline Latin nouns, to sing, and, in the Way of Beauty sequence, to reproduce ancient and medieval Christian icons and church designs. Among other things, in their drawing classes, students imitate famous 'Cosmati' church floor designs, so named after the Roman family which produced generations of decorative mosaics. Inspired by what she learned, one of my students, Amy Green, recently produced her own design and has been working to get it installed at her church. Her home parish is Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Driggs, Idaho. Apparently, the fundraising for the installation is set shortly to begin. Below is pictured the church's present floor, her design, as well as an original Cosmati pattern. If you're interested to read more about the project see the web version of this article, at


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Author:Topping, Ryan
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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