St. Albert the Great Catholic Church
Allow me to make a confession: I stumbled on St. Albert the Great Catholic Church because I was trying to figure out a way to sleep in on Sunday this week. I had some other spirit-ual pursuits planned for Saturday night, and I thought it would be disrespectful to show up “tired” to Sunday services.
Among other things I learned searching the Internet for a Saturday service, I found there are churches that honor Saturday as the Sabbath: The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I discovered this fact too late to take advantage this week, but I will one week soon.
Anyway, I really lucked into something when I landed on St. Albert. It’s a beautiful church up on King’s Row. Stunning, really. I’m becoming a big fan of the stained glass in Reno’s churches, and windows in St. Albert’s large sanctuary blew me away. It’s a modern style—the church was built in the mid-'80s—and the colors and styling are like nothing else I’ve come across. The sanctuary has a somewhat unusual layout, arrowhead-shaped, with the chancel being the point. The room is light and airy, mainly off-whites. The afternoon light streaming through those windows makes the room ethereal. The padding on the wooden pews’ cushions is yellow ochre.
The walls were fairly uncluttered, although there were a few paintings—Our Lady of Guadalupe and a portrait of a guy I can only assume was St. Albert the Great, the patron saint of scientists.
Modern technology allowed the sweet voices of the chorus and a skillfully played piano to fill the room from speakers in the ceiling.
I call myself lucky because there were two somewhat unusual goings on. The first was a baptism. Stephan John, a baby who behaved quite well considering the opportunity for shenanigans, officially joined the church, and his parents and godparents received the lowdown on their responsibilities from Father Mike Mahone. The other special event was when Suzie and Larry renewed their wedding vows on their 45-year anniversary.
“Suzie, you’re absolutely sure you want to do this?” asked Father Mahone. One of the things that impressed me most about the white-haired priest was his ability to interject humor into many of that day’s proceedings.
Father Mahone used the third reading as the basis for his sermon. It came from Luke. 10:38-42, and it told the story of Martha and her sister Mary. Martha was hosting Jesus and his posse. Mary, instead of assisting Martha with the cooking, dishes, the serving and what have you, sat at Jesus’ feet and listened. Martha complained about the lack of help and asked Him whether He didn’t care about Mary’s lack of interest.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered. “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In his sermon, Father Mahone told a pretty cute joke about a girl’s experience saying grace for the first time and then riffed on the word “care.” “The word ‘care’ is very interesting. … None of us want to be remembered as people who don’t care. … Jesus was the greatest caregiver of all … and Martha has the gall to say, ‘Lord, don’t you care?'”
Father Mahone, giving props to Hallmark cards, said Jesus was proof that God cared enough to send the very best.
“Just remember, in God’s time … God cares for each and every one of us,” he said.