THE CHURCH’S ORIGIN, FOUNDATION AND MISSION are detailed for us in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
A summary of the Church’s Origin, Foundation and Mission is quoted from the Catechism below:
“777 The word “Church” means “convocation.” It designates the assembly of those whom God’s Word “convokes,” i.e., gathers together to form the People of God, and who themselves, nourished with the Body of Christ, become the Body of Christ.
778 The Church is both the means and the goal of God’s plan: prefigured in creation, prepared for in the Old Covenant, founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, fulfilled by his redeeming cross and his Resurrection, the Church has been manifested as the mystery of salvation by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. She will be perfected in the glory of heaven as the assembly of all the redeemed of the earth (cf. Rev 14:4).
779 The Church is both visible and spiritual, a hierarchical society and the Mystical Body of Christ. She is one, yet formed of two components, human and divine. That is her mystery, which only faith can accept.
780 The Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men.
A DESIGNATED NATIONAL HISTORICAL SITE
Medicine Hat’s most prominent landmark is St. Pat’s Church. The church with its 170 foot gothic tower, is said to be one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture in all of North America. Its design was inspired by the medieval cathedrals in Europe.
The construction of the church in 1912, called for challenging and novel building methods and resulted in a triumph of engineering-science for the time. This task necessitated a continuous pouring of concrete, from the bottom of the foundation to the top of the highest cross. This was achieved by a large motor-driven concrete mixer connected to a tower elevator. The concrete was hoisted by drum-and-cable and delivered to any part of the wall by large conveyor pipes. In 1912, all of this was achieved without the benefit of modern transit mix or concrete pumps.
In 1932, a false ceiling of wood was installed in the church because of the extraordinary height of the Gothic interior, and consequent heating costs.
The magnificent, round rose windows on the east and west sides of the church were imported from France and were installed as recently as 1955. The new copper roof is part of a restoration program which started 1979, as are the solid oak doors gracing the entry.
The construction and maintenance of such a large church is ongoing, and a credit to the parish which has been committed to this project since 1912.