- People of today and tomorrow need this enthusiasm [of wonder] if they are to meet and master the crucial challenges which stand before us. Thanks to this enthusiasm, humanity, every time it loses its way, will be able to lift itself up and set out again on the right path. In this sense it has been said with profound insight that “beauty will save the world” (§16).
- ~Pope St. John Paul II, Letter to artists, titled: “The Saving Power of Beauty”
The latter half of the 20th century brought its share of poor church architectural design, moving away from the ornate splendor and magnificence of the cathedral, toward (in many instances) the sterile, bland, and nondescript.
Fortunately, recent years have brought a renaissance in sacred architecture, with architects such as Duncan Stroik and James McCrery designing a collection of beautifully-designed, traditional churches.
The following are some examples of new Church designs, whether in concept phase or nearing completion in construction, all adhering to the rich, traditional design of centuries past.
New Mount Carmel Monastery, Cody, WY, McCrery Architects
This French Gothic monastery will be nestled in the rugged mountains of Park County, Wyoming, serving as the home and sanctuary to the Carmelite Order and Mystic Monks Coffee.
Sacred Heart, Knoxville, TN, McCrery Architects
This cathedral will serve as the focal point for the Diocese of Knoxville, with seating for 1,000 parishioners in a 25,000 square foot worship space.
Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Raleigh, NC, O’Brien & Keane.
The cathedral, which is nearing completion, will replace the current, smaller church, and will provide seating for over 2,000. The traditional cruciform design will feature custom marble liturgical furnishings, rendered in Bianco Carrara and Giallo Siena.
Phillip the Apostle, Lewisville, TX, McCrery Architects.
Unable to serve the 10,000 members of its fast-growing parish, St. Phillip the Apostle parish has commissioned a new church construction, on its Lewisville campus. The church will draw on the Medieval country church style, and is designed by James McCrery.
Chapel of the Holy Cross, Tampa, FL, Duncan Stroik
A new 900-seat chapel for a Jesuit prep school in Florida draws on the great tradition of Jesuit architecture and will be a new focal point of the school’s expanding masterplan. The brick exterior has a limestone portico and is topped with an octagonal cupola. The centralized interior includes four shrines dedicated to Jesuit martyrs and an altarpiece above the main altar depicting the vision of Saint Ignatius at La Storta. The chapel will be completed in 2018.
More examples of sacred architecture at The Christian Review.
Sorry! I love the very simple, yet very holy “space ship” church that I attend! It is unique and beautiful.
There are plenty of beautiful little chapels too. I go to some at times for adoration. Often they are connected to a larger church. or on church grounds. Where ever the Lord is, is sacred ground. In some of them the people take off their shoes as was done by Moses by the burning bush.
Hopefully no ‘table altars’ and Communion rails reinstated!
Amazingly Beautiful places for “The Mass”.
Too bad then Bishop of Oakland chose a modernist (and execrable) design for the Diocese’s Christ the Light Cathedral.
(cont’d.) . . . the debt of which, in multimillion $ is still carried by the Diocese.
Have you visited the cathedral in Sacramento. The bishop did a truly excellent job in its 2005 restoration. It evokes the transcendent and is arguably the nicest cathedral in California.
Sorry, you’re stuck with Robert Schiller’s design.
Where were Duncan Stroik and James McCrery when the L.A. Archdiocese built the Rog Mahal, otherwise known as the Armadillo? Not bad in the inside, but ugly as sin on the outside–a terribly wasted opportunity to give witness to the Eternal in the midst of the busy streets of Los Angeles.
Ah, yes, the “bunker.” Deacon Vince
i have always wondered if the medieval gothic ‘classical’ churches were considered avant garde and/or controversial in their time.
i personally don’t have an answer. But regardless, good art always remains timeless because it’s rooted deep in man’s subconscious.
Wonderful changes, to be certain. Of course, how many will worship Christ appropriately, with the TLM? Yes, with the more traditional structure, a new more Traditional Mass might well follow, but there is not much evidence of that happening. This is particularly the case with Pope Francis, who does not like Tradition (except to denounce it). One wonders what is happening with the SSPX, where Satan will need to work overtime to achieve his usual vile stain job. Nice to have these structures, but the education of “being a Catholic” is all the more needed. How many bishops even know this and see approval of such new designs as a popularity move? Let’s see where it goes.
These are absolutely beautiful buildings. I’m not sure, however, that I would choose those parishes as my “home church.” If you are not in the front few pews, it is hard to see, hear, and feel like being an “active participant.” I like smaller church buildings or those in-the-round so that the congregation rather circles the Altar. But, these are gorgeous..
Welcome to an encore performance of Theater-in-the-Round, brought to you by VII’s Liturgical Renewal . Tonight’s performance will be a post-conciliar musical production from the Oregon Catholic Press songbook, including such wrenching favorites as Be Not Afraid, Glory and Praise, and Here I am, Lord. So please, sit back, put down those rosaries, and give it up for Bob One and his “Active Participants.”
Gravey, Bravo! You are a first on this site to make their opinions known using a bit of humor. Funny as you are, I rather like the music you don’t, the closeness to the altar you don’t, etc. But, it isn’t great music. Most parish music directors are not trained in music, but there are some out there that do a good job. One I can think of has a PhD organist, Choir Director with two Masters Degrees in Music who’s processional on Christmas eve is the Hallelujah Chorus. The music soars upward from there. The congregation sings out loud new and older hymns, no murmuring allowed. Etc.. It can be done but almost all don’t do a good job.
I have seen on line the inside of some of the newer traditional type Catholic churches, and they are absolutely gorgeous, with altar rails, statues and stained-glass windows. They transport one to heaven just looking at them. And for those worried about giving to the poor, how about the jobs provided by all this. Some of these churches have or will have soup kitchens and so forth, too. Beauty AND charity CAN go hand in hand.
All look mysteriously pre-Vatican II-ish..
Oh-oh, what Church are people actually yearning for?
Why not complete the picture, and put the true Traditional Latin Mass rightfully in the central focus. It is like having a Nativity scene without Christ in the manger.
Look at the picture of the St. Phillip the Apostle church. Their fundraising brochure indicates that Phase I will cost $26,000,000. You could build five “modern” churches for that amount of money. But, it is their money and they can spend it as they like. The Diocese will lend them 35% of the price tag. That is about $9.0 million. A twenty year loan, with no interest, will require a payment of $450,000 per year or $37,500 per month. Now, let’s add the interest and pretty soon were talking real money. Let’s hope that if they build it the people will come, and pay. If they accomplish their goal, it will be wonderful for them and they deserve praise for it.
Dislike the monstrous new cathedral built in raleigh. Could not be further away from the altar than this. The super huge statues are circus like and should not overpower the real presence. There is too much emphasis on the giant statues that are all around. While I appreciate the cultural inclusion, their extreme size draws the eye away from the most important – the altar and the blessed sacrament tabernacle which is WAaaaaaaaaaaay back in back of the faaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr away altar. Thanks for creating a sense of intimacy with God dear architect. What were you thinking!!!!! How many millions did this cost. If you had cut the church in half height wise you would have still glorified God and saved money to help God’s people instead…