Why are there so many statues in Catholic churches?

(America Magazine) It was a Sunday morning in summer, and our family was on a bit of a holiday. We had joined cousins at the lake. That still meant getting to Sunday Mass in a neighboring town. I have no idea how we knew where to go and when. Who remembers how we did anything before the internet?

We found the church, without too much difficulty. Dad, Mom and we three kids made our way up the aisle, genuflected and entered a pew midway in the nave. A little farther back than usual for us, but we were visitors.

The altar was covered with a green cloth, much like those that used to cover all altars, when they weren’t being used. It had three gold circles, entwined to represent the Trinity. I was not sure where the tabernacle was, but the back wall of the sanctuary had a large wooden reredos. It might be anywhere in there. But, when I couldn’t locate the tabernacle candle, I felt compelled to whisper my concern to Mom, “I don’t think we’re in a Catholic church.”

“Of course, we’re in a Catholic church.”

“I don’t see any statues. Not Mary, not Joseph, not even Jesus!”

My mother pondered this for a moment, turned around and asked the two ladies in the pew behind us if this was a Catholic church.

“No, this is Redeemer Lutheran Church, but you’re welcome to join us.” [More]


America Magazine