Saturday, January 2, 2016



2015 International Awards Program for Religious Art & Architecture

This first photo is a church renovation and there is not a before picture. You can bet your bottom dollar that the before picture presented worship and the Catholic Mass as a vertical endeavor, where as this is built upon the Kumbaya ideology of holding hands during worship to make it horizontal and all about me and us:
 You can view the above church's Easter Vigil photos HERE with a woman "sub-deacon" or priestess of some type! I suspect she is a pastoral minister or RCIA catechist. Interesting no? (Albany, New York has a reputation of being loony progressive and since the 1970's. But there is a new bishop in town, maybe things will progress in the right direction soon, but who knows?

A couple of other Catholic buildings:
 This is a propose seminary chapel in Charlotte, North Carolina which bodes well for the future!


Flavius Hesychius said...

Where's that last one (going to be) at? I thought Trent forbade rood screens?

John Drake said...

Father, the situation at Albany's St Vincent de Paul is even worse than you imagined! The woman is the "Parish Life Director", and she tops the roster of the parish staff. The two priests bear the titles of "Sacramental Minister", and one of them is the notorious non-architect, Fr. Richard Vosko, who designed this and many other atrocities. Check out their website for more horrors!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

FH it is a seminary in Charlotte, NC. It is now being built. Of course post-Vatican II allows for anything.

Fr Martin Fox said...


The first two pictures illustrate something that often gets missed in these discussions. Namely, that what is at stake is not merely a certain aesthetic.

The first image is, in many ways, aesthetically pleasing; and one can readily imagine that it might well be far superior to what went before -- from an aesthetic point of view. Similarly, many neo-modernist designs for Catholic churches cannot be equaled for their high quality materials, and for the artistry of much of what they contain.

The problem lies elsewhere. You hit on one aspect: a shift from vertical orientation to horizontal. Another way to describe it would be a shift from transcendence to immanence; from eternity to the temporal -- and so forth.

And, while there may not be a necessary relation, in practice all this seems to be linked to the choice between ad orientem or "toward the people."

Fr Martin Fox said...


Did you look through all those pictures from the Easter Vigil? There may be a problem.

At one point, it appears the lady vested in an alb is pouring water over the neophyte; in another, she's pouring it into the priest's hand, and he's letting it pour onto the neophyte's head.

Certainly not licit. But remind me: is the baptism valid if one person pours the water while another pronounces the words? The pictures of the confirmation also suggest a lot of extra hand-imposing, but who knows what that's about.

That said, it looks like they came up with an ingenious way to make adult baptisms less messy. It looks like they have a drain built into the floor. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

The Diocese of Charlotte is building a seminary? I know there are plans, that land has been bought, but you say it is under construction now?

Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

If ever you find yourself thinking the Age of Wreckovations are over, look no further than the church in the first image. It was "renewed" just last year. Before that, as can be seen from earlier photos, it had rows of pews up to the front of the church with a freestanding, uninspiring altar at the front. Presumably the high altar has been long gone.

But yes...certain individuals are still as eager as ever to see the Spirit of Vatican II appeased.

Anonymous said...

One thing I noticed on the Saint Vincent De Paul website is that they show no photographs of the church before the reckovation. It seems they wanted that part of history obliterated and forgotten. After reading Mr Drakes comments also looked at those that run the parish. Not only were the priests replaced by sacramental ministers, those sacramental ministers were far down the list. Not to leave everything as a negative, I did like the paintings that made up the Saint Wall. I also liked that someone outside of Albany referred to it as looney progressive. I liked Fr. Fox's comments too.

Anonymous said...

The first one looks like something from liberal Germany. I can see liturgical dance in its future.

Anonymous said...

I read the article, though I did not notice the link the first time around. After reviewing all of the entries in that article, I think that if your church,Saint Joseph Catholic Church,would have easily won for best restoration. I did like Mission San Juan Capistrano for its simplicity though. I did not care much for many of the others. Even though they had strong design elements, they seemed artificial and lacking in sincerity.