Welcome to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception! I’d been meaning to visit here for quite a while, and I was very grateful to get the opportunity to go. My parents and I were on vacation in Vermont one summer, and it just so happened to be the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Center, where I would typically attend Mass, was not holding Mass that day because they’re based on the schedule of college kids, and school had not started up yet, so not many students were around. The Cathedral was holding Mass, though, so I finally had an undeniable reason to visit.
The Cathedral’s exterior is rather modern: a smooth, sleek thing. But I absolutely love the landscaping! There are trees surrounding the building in an organized pattern, creating a beautiful array of branches that create cool shifting columns as you walk along the path.
The inside of the worship space is beautiful and modern, and unlike any church with which I am familiar. The pews here are set up in the round, which was interesting. The smooth ceiling created an airy space flooded by natural light through skylights. It was a lovely space, albeit a little unusual to me, but I liked it. When we entered, we arrived in the middle of a recitation of the rosary. My parents and I did not know that was scheduled, but we jumped in as soon as we caught on.
We also spent some time in the lobby of the church, where they had statues and numerous relics. I liked this image of Mary, and I thought it was especially well chosen for this particular placement. The color scheme of the light teal with the browns is a soothing, natural palette. It echoes the natural beauty of Vermont exceedingly well.
The amount of relics here was incredible. I recognized some of these saints, but I was also unfamiliar with several. Bodily relics kind of freak me out a little bit, if I’m being completely honest, so this challenged me somewhat. But the testimony of faith here is undeniable, and I valued that regardless of my own squeamishness!
This cathedral was a good representation to me of my experiences in Vermont. The set up was a little bit different than I was used to, but it was beautiful in its personal way. The theme of nature was prominent throughout, via the colors and landscaping. I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I did my best to eagerly jump in as soon as I got my bearings. There were some things that I was not used to, but I recognized that my discomfort was based in unfamiliarity and challenged myself to see the good through the unusual. There was also the consistency of universal truth and regularity. I was instantly connected to a group larger than myself, and welcomed as a part of the community.
This Mass really was a condensed metaphor for my move to Vermont. It’s amazing how many places you can find God when you start looking for Him!