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How did the Museum of Religious Arts begin?
The idea of starting a religious museum came to light in the summer of 1994 while Paul and Helen Lovell were vacationing in Minnesota. The couple had attended Sunday services in a new, modern Catholic church and realized how much church history had been lost in the conversion from the old to the new. Gone from the church was the beautiful high back altar which stood with dignity in the front of the church proudly displaying the many statues in its fold. The old artistic stained glass windows of many colors have been replaced with more modern ones, and the old pedal organ no longer sits in the balcony. Long gone is the communion rail, and the altar servers no longer hold a paten under the host. We now sit comfortably in our modern pews with padded kneelers. The old wooden floors are covered with carpet and the wainscoting on the wall has long been gone and forgotten.
Those days are gone forever. Our children and grandchildren will never know what the old churches were like. There are many museums to remind us of days gone by, but religious museums are few and far between.
The purpose of the Museum of Religious Arts is to preserve and exhibit religious arts, tradition and culture, fostering an appreciation of religious history for our enrichment and that of future generations.
We are grateful to Paul and Helen Lovell for having the courage, vision and faith to have started this project. (Paul Lovell currently serves on the board of directors of the Museum.)