Sunday, February 7, 2016


The video above shows what Jesuit High School in Tampa is preparing to do. They are going to tear down their more than 50 year old "spaceship" 1960's fad style Chapel and build a traditional chapel that "will have a center aisle to accommodate the weddings of alumni!" It will also enhance the dignity of the celebrations of Mass and each morning's convocation of students who begin the day in common with prayer.  The sanctuary and style of the interior will be TRADITIONAL and within the pre-Vatican II tradition of Jesuit built churches such as Sacred Heart in Tampa and St. Joseph in Macon and Sacred Heart in Augusta!

However, you will note also that the spaceship chapel actually isn't that bad and the Jesuits have given its altar the "Benedictine" altar arrangement, i.e. traditional.  And it appears that the Jesuits at Jesuit High take the liturgy seriously and have a classic choir for the Mass with orchestra which I suspect means no guitar Masses with worship and praise and other sorts of fad like music that won't sustain any Catholic for the long haul. Worship and Praise actually prepares Catholics to join non denominational denominations since that music is their music and they usually do it better than Catholics.

Please note, too, Sacred Heart Church in downtown Tampa. It was a Jesuit Church but now the Franciscan have it. However the Jesuit brother responsible for its design is the same one who designed St. Joseph here in Macon, a Jesuit Church as well as Sacred Heart in Augusta. Tampa's Church has some striking similarities to the two in Georgia.


Stephen Conner said...

What is the style of Immaculate Conception, in Dublin? I believe it is beautiful in it's own unique way? Is their's a style of your personal liking, Father? I, personally, think Immaculate Conception is a beautiful,traditional church that stays away from the contemporary gaudiness found in churches, like Sacred Heart, in Warner Robins. I, personally, despisethat church's layout of the sanctuary and nave. Thoughts, Father?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I like both Sacred Heart and Immaculate Conception but I prefer more traditional forms for our churches such as the marvelous new St. Teresa's in metro Augusta.

I would have designed the altar areas in both a bit different and I despise the seperate chapel next to the sanctuary for the reservation of the Eucharist at Sacred Heart. I was at a retreat for young people there and was hearing confessions of young people in that chapel and so many of the youth at Sacred Heart told me they'd never been in that chapel (quite accessible to the nave, btw). So it makes adoration of the Blessed Sacrament an elite core of people and our young are clueless about the tabernacle and devotions around adoration.

Tabernacles should be mandated front and center in all our parochial settings. I can see in large cathedrals and shrines that are tourist destinations having a side chapel, but not in your normal parish church.

Anonymous said...

Just a minor point: I lived in the area of Jesuit for two years. Jesuit is not in "downtown Tampa". It is northwest of downtown, fairly close to the airport. There are at least two downtown RC churches including Sacred Heart.

tjm said...

refreshing to see young Catholics rejecting, day by day,the left-wing loonisn of the 60s and 70s. The aging clergy in charge of the liturgical destruction must be apoplectic.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but it is not TRADITIONAL if there is not Traditional Latin Mass, only then you can call it traditional!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Stephen - I'm not sure that I.C. Dublin belongs to any particular architectural style. At least, I don't know how to categorize it. It is a large square with a very spacious sanctuary in one corner of the square and a very attractive entry and ample narthex on the opposite corner of the square.

I think it is one of the more attractive churches we have built in our diocese in the last 25 years or so. Part of that comes from the extensive use of bricks and wood and glass. The stained glass windows from the old church were installed in the new church, but with clear glass "frames" around them so that one can see the outside as well as the images in the stained glass. The church is on a wooded lot, so they view from inside is pleasant.

The church isn't overly decorated. By that I mean that the building and its furnishings are the decorations. There is no baroque stenciling or gilding or ornate column capitals. The floor is an attractive tile - maybe real stone, I am not sure - in a neutral light color.

There is a feeling of spaciousness and openness in the building. I regret that I have never been there except for Penance services. I'd like to discover what it sounds like with a fuller house.

Gerbert d' Aurillac said...

Growing up in Tampa their are three Catholic High Schools, Jesuit (all boys), Academy of Holy Names (all girl), and my alma mater Tampa Catholic (co-ed). Jesuit was our biggest rival, one year our football team painted the statue of St Ignatius Loyola Green (our school color), this of course was in response to Jesuit painting blue tombstones on our gym. Both took a bunch of grief over those stunts. All I can say is I am so glad the space ship is going away, I did not like it then and it has never grown on me. Ah the memories of High School rivalries