An Anxious Reunion

By Ray Hedin

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My wife and I had come with the intention of sitting quietly in the back of the chapel. That seemed an accurate reflection of my present stance to the church — neither fully connected nor as completely dismissive as I once had been.

The problem was that there was no “back” to sit in. The old chapel, which had been reconfigured in the late 1960s to reflect Vatican II theology, had been reconfigured again. In the first reconfiguration, a new altar was placed closer to the congregation and faced the people, who sat on pews that stretched all the way to the rear of the chapel. With the second new look, in addition to these two altars, there was a simple wooden table at the center of the chapel, flanked by 50 comfortable, fabric-covered chairs, each half of the congregation facing the other — very good for a sense of intimacy and engagement, not so good for hiding.…

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