Monday, March 18, 2019


Thanks to the Egyptian for these photos! These are from a church in Ohio!

I wonder if the liturgists and priests who abused this church abused kids and vulnerable adults as well?  How many laity were outraged at this and became ambivalent towards the Church because of this?


ByzRus said...

From worshiping our Lord to worshiping a pipe organ, way to go.

TJM said...


The priest who did this must be a major league jackass. There is a Freudian element there if you know what I mean.

The Egyptian said...

From worshiping our Lord to worshiping a pipe organ

not only that but it destroyed the acoustics, if you click on the after pic and then enlarge you notice the organist not 4 foot from the altar, the choir is off to the left. The cantor is right behind the organ console, What is left of Mary is way off to the side and St Joseph fled, hopefully looking for help, and the statue of the patron St Henry is in the entrance to the basement meeting rooms overseeing crowd control patiently waiting to return, it is a beautiful church on the outside and a total disappointment on the inside, Just the value of the artwork covered up is sickening.
this is the worst of the recovations done in our area except for the runner up, the Chapel at St Charles seminary

rcg said...

I have heard others speak of this mainly for the ‘Risen Christ Victorious’ above the altar. That is very popular among some of the clergy that pilot renovations in other parishes of our diocese. I can see its appeal but it seems sort of pagan, actually.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Other readers may like to know that this area -- Egyptian and I are in the same general area, although I don't know that we've met -- is filled with beautiful churches like this. Lots of them escaped wreckovation mostly unscathed, and some are being restored, such as mine (by my predecessor; I can take no credit).

Still others are being renovated in a true sense -- because restoring what was lost is, alas, beyond the immediate capacity of many congregations. In a parish I pastored previously -- not far from here -- that was the situation with the artwork on the walls. We simply could not have restored that look, so we did something different. Happily, a later generation could restore it -- what we did was an improvement, and doesn't forestall a fuller restoration. I am proud to say that while I was there, we were able to install beautiful floors -- wood and tile -- that were far better than the linoleum that was there in the mid-20th century. When we installed the new floors, they replaced carpeting. Now that church will not need new flooring for 100 years.

Overall, there is a positive trend at work as new priests arrive in the area. In some cases, alas, the old buildings are simply gone, and churches built in the last few decades are mostly not pleasing structurally. Still, recently arrived pastors are trying to make the best of them.

The most recently built church in this area was reasonably well done as a structure; the pastor had to work within certain strictures imposed by the diocese. There is one of those silly baptismal pools, and he wasn't allowed to have the tabernacle in the main body of the church (since rectified). There are certain other oddities of the church that may be the fault of "downtown" or else of bad judgments locally, but they (mostly) can be fixed in the future. The one thing that probably will never be fixed has to do with the shape and design of the ceiling -- it is too low and has exposed joists -- and I wonder if that was a function of cost. The old vaulted ceilings are beautiful in every way, but they do create many financial headaches.

The Egyptian is 100% right about the chapel at (the former) St. Charles Seminary.

TJM said...

Father Fox,

I always feel better about the Church's future after you post.

Anonymous said...

Oddly I can understand why the paintings in the sanctuary weren't replaced.Often they are a type of wallpaper that might have deteriorated on a closer inspection. To have artists repaint them might have been cost prohibitive, and in the art world when a painting cant be fully restored the areas that could not be completed are often painted in a bland neutral shade. It makes things easier for a future restoration artist. What I can understand is why they got rid of that marvelous wooden altar. Simply putting that back (with its equally beautiful altar rail) would be a 1000% improvement.

The Egyptian said...

Fr Fox
We have met you just don't know it
I'm sly that way. ;>)

TJM said...


It was a lefty, loon cleric exercising his clerical privilege that got the altar tossed in favor of a Cranmer table.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Also, if you drive around this northern part of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which is mostly rural and frequently, almost entirely Catholic, you will find many, many churches built with the same structural design. I regret that I am not conversant in architectural terms, but perhaps I can adequately describe what I mean. The local churches are nearly always built with brick, elongated in the usual fashion (i.e., not boxy), lined with tall windows, and generally have a steeple. Occasionally they are further surfaced with a kind of grey stucco, which mimics stone, and the reason for that is probably because the brick was soft and cannot withstand exposure to the elements. This style of church is otherwise differentiated by length of the nave and the sort of steeple built. Here are some local examples:,_Ohio)#/media/File:St._Joseph%27s_Church_at_Egypt,_southern_side_and_front.jpg,_Ohio)#/media/File:St._John%27s_at_Maria_Stein_front_and_western_side.jpg,_Ohio#/media/File:Houston_Congregational_Christian_Church.jpg

Lots more could be given. To my eye, these all seem to begin with the same basic plan. I can imagine the same two or three architectural firms may have built them, but I don't really know.

Not that I'm complaining. They are a familiar and welcome presence in the landscape.

All these churches tend to be only miles apart, and if you want to, you can make a tour. The doors are almost always open during the day if you want to make a visit.

TJM said...

Father Fox,

St. John the Baptist is a gem - too bad the communion rail was taken out. Other than that, a standout. Thanks for posting.

The Egyptian said...

Fr Fox
thank you for posting the parish of my youth St Joseph at Egypt, hence my non de plume the German Egyptian, and my current parish St John. When I married I moved 3/4 mile west of the home farm and ended up in a different school district different county and different parish. It's just like that here
For what it's worth I was baptized at ST Peter and Paul, Newport, Ohio, then till school age we attended St Rose at St Rose, then Egypt, my ancestral parish, built on our families land.Then St John and all within a 15 mile radius

St Rose is a little jewel box

The Egyptian said...

last post on this subject, I promise, here is the whole list, Fr fox's St Remy is included
Many of the massive Gothic revival churches that remain today were built in the late 19th century and early 20th century by Anton DeCurtins or his descendants. The churches of the region have changed little since the early 20th century, and only one new parish has been established since 1925. My godmother used to live in the house DeCurtins built in Chickasaw when he worked in the area

Fr Martin Fox said...

Re: St. Remy's in Russia (my parish)...

While there's nothing wrong with the exterior of our church, it is not in the same elegant class as so many of the churches around here. Our interior is in good shape, again, thanks to my predecessor.