Sunday, June 29, 2003

St. Francis Xavier Parish in Birmingham, AL, was hit by lightening and burnt up a couple of years ago. It was, according to reports, a 1970's A-frame building

Well, they rebuilt.

And 1970's A-frame, it ain't.

What was popular in 1970 isn't popular any more," said member Janet Harrod. "The classic and Old World will speak to people 100 years from now."The building overlooking Montclair Road features a 92-foot bell tower, 27 new stained-glass windows, Italian porcelain tile floors and a baptismal font made from Botticino marble on a granite base.Following the fire, the church building committee held town hall meetings to survey the mood of the church. Insurance paid $2.3 million. Church members decided to raise an additional $4.5 million to expand seating from 600 to about 1,000.The Rev. Patrick Sullivan, the pastor, said the lightning strike may have been a "blessing in disguise."