Friday, July 3, 2020


Admittedly this is a difficult space for a Catholic Church, no matter how much one tries to improve it. As with many recent attempts to impose a classical sanctuary on an impossible mess, I just don’t know if it is worth the time, talent and treasure to do it.



I think it is improvement, though. I dislike the starburst from the crucifix. But the ultra modern, ultra cheap looking stained glass clashes with the classic looking traditional altar. Maybe if those are eventually changed to something more classic, it would unify the theme? But is it worth it?


Lucky Horseshoe said...

I like it, including the light rays. What I wanna know is what is going on in the stained glass? It looks like cartoon trees on snowy hills. Is it symbolic of something?

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

Form, they say, follows function.

In many cases, however, form follows finance. You can have what you can afford.

This community might not have the finances to do a more substantial overhaul. Stained glass, among other things, is expensive.

The windows look a bit amateur-ish - they may have been a "gift" from a member of the congregation.

The sun rays are a bit overpowering. If they were about 50% less intense and the wood of the cross were dark, it might work.

ByzRC said...

Agree. It is very difficult to re-enchant a space like this. I applaud those who try. Is it worth the time, talent and treasure to impose a classical sanctuary on an impossible mess? In this day and age, the limitations and pressures on the average parish's budget makes this the only option for beautification.

Look at your St. Anne. By no means an "impossible mess" but, I'm sure the day will come when someone would look to improve that space. One could make the argument that its interior isn't harmonious with its exterior. What I mean here is that if I drove up to St. Anne's, I would be expecting an interior similar to this renovation based upon the appearance of the exterior. I would then be disappointed when I got to the door despite the quality of the materials used. Function perhaps prevailed over the aesthetic.

Strangely, I had no reaction to the starburst other than I liked it. I'm so used to seeing that motif its presence just seems normal to me. My eyes were quickly drawn to the windows. Why institutions continue to purchase that style I'll never understand. Perhaps it is part of this parish's longer-term vision to replace as "Phase 2 or 3". Anyhow, compared to other renovations that have been posted on this blog in recent months, to me, this one works if we ignore the style of the building vs the sanctuary (I know, I know, that's the whole point of this post! Don't forget, however, they're probably on a budget like everyone else!). The fixtures within are well proportioned, well placed and harmonious. The altar rail is attractive and looks like it was a good affordable option. The top of the ambo appears to be even with the top of the altar's mensa. Beautiful tabernacle as well. I like it. I hope they do as well and enjoy it for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

I also like it. I think the light rays keep your focus off those awful Windows. Christmas trees on snowy has a half moon, the other what looks like a dog? What could that possibly symbolize?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I presume the altar is freestanding and Mass facing the nave. I think it would be better for the six candlesticks to be on the reredos and much taller and just two on the altar itself.

ByzRC said...

Agree. The altar appears to be freestanding with the reredos being one step higher. Also agree that it would much better with the 6 high candles. A quick call to Hamers would solve the problem there!

Carol H. said...

Is it worth it? Absolutely!

I like the rays, it reminds me of Divine Mercy and the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and as Anon @ 4:48 said, it takes one's focus away from those awful windows. The altar railing alone is worth it all.

The windows will probably be replaced later. Maybe they can be sold to a day care center. For now, I would call them 'Coloring Book Catholicism, in Glass'.

Anonymous said...

To replace the cartoonish stained glass windows with clear glass would be a great improvement. Also, why must the wall color remain contractor white? Would not a warm yellow ochre compliment the wood of the cross and alter rail, thus warming the overall sanctuary? These seem like they would be inexpensive improvements when compared to purchasing more appropriate stained glass.

OCguy49 said...

The rays behind the Crucifix would be fine if the wood of the Crucifix's wood were darker.

From Fr. Khouri said...

The Church does not put the Sanctuary lamp on top of the tabernacle. Where did that come from?

Unknown said...

I like the altar rail! Our church purchased stain glass windows from a Catholic church which had closed in Pennsylvania...that may be a way to reduce cost.

Fr Michael said...

As a retired pastor, I will say that perhaps the windows were not replaced, with the remodel, because of cost. If I had been at that parish I would have suggested that the "cartoonish" looking windows be replaced with solid colored glass windows. As to the sun burst crucifix, while its not my cup of tea, it really doesn't bother me. I certainly would not argue over something as minor as the height of candles. Overall the people of this parish did a fantastic job and have a very beautiful worship space. I commend them.

Anonymous said...

Nice re-work. Attentive work.

Thank you, Father and your helpers for loving Our Lord and His people like this.