"Master, where dwellest thou?"
"Come and see."
For over a quarter century, the mural entitled "The Call of Andrew" graced the wall behind the main altar at the parish where I grew up*, which was named for that saint, whose feast day is today. It depicted the Apostle known by the Greeks as "The First-Called," at the moment when he was.
The face of Andrew on that mural was none other than that of the late Father Andrew Creager, who was pastor in the early 20th century, and the longest-serving on record. It was he who commissioned the building of the church where I worshipped as a boy, and his priestly vocation which was commemorated, when the church had undergone renovation in the late-1960s.
Sadly, another renovation in recent years caused them to cover up the mural with drywall, leaving only a blank surface. Despite the premise that it would never be used any other way, out of some respect for the original benefactor of the mural, a large crucifix now hangs there. While I would normally consider this decision to be most fitting, I miss that image I knew growing up. Yes, it was admittedly... well, less than haute couture. Still, this did not take away from its significance, or its own kind of beauty.
But its suppression is what happens when a parish is taken over by people who know better what is good for everybody else -- just ask them -- and a sad commentary on the modern breakdown of parish life (the subject of a future posting now in the works). Besides, I'm told the archbishop never cared for it much, so... there's the "empowerment of the laity" for you, eh?
Andrew is my father's middle name. He received it in honor of his paternal grandfather, Andre Alexandre, who with his wife Marie, came here from France in the 1840s, and after arriving in Cleveland, Ohio, worked the railroads, until he settled in the western part of the state, where his descendants scattered over Darke and Shelby Counties -- a land known for its many beautiful Catholic parish churches marking the various small towns.
Father "Don Jim" Tucker remembers St Andrew today, with the text of a past homily. The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia also has an appropriate entry.
* For what it's worth, I'm the third kid from the right.