Thursday, June 30, 2016


This is from Houston, Texas:

And I don't know where this before and after came from but can you tell the subtle difference? By the way when the pastor polled the daily Mass goers on Tuesday if they would appreciate this subtle change, everyone was unanimous in making it. And when they saw the subtle change on Wednesday, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul and the homilist during the homily indicated if Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God, should He not be enthroned in the most conspicuous place possible in the sanctuary, in the most noble and honorable location, all applauded!

What do you think of the first set of photos. The church in Houston definitely needed some help as the before photo is very cluttered although there was an attempt to make the altar look more traditional looking. But the traditional set-up of the altar in the after photo hides the tabernacle which is more prominent in the before photo.

I like the restoration of the use of the altar railing, but in this small church (the one in Houston, an altar railing a little less imposing than what they chose might have been a better choice, something more delicate. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

In all honesty Father both pictures at the top are horrible. It just bad tast all around. No creativity and no talent. Horrible color schemes and cheap material. Nothing original, everything looks like it's from a catalog or Home Depot.

Marc said...

In the bottom pictures, there's a plant in the place where the priest is supposed to stand. Plants can worship ad orientem, but humans cannot...?


TJM said...

HUGE Improvement between the first and second photo. The tabernacle is visible to me, although I guess if you removed the Benedictine Arrangement, it would be more prominent.

Stephen Conner said...

Most important first change as new pastor! Jesus Christ front and center always! Thanks be to God!!

qwikness said...

Strange how every thing in the first is askew. The second, though better, has a prefabricated wood look. The architecture might lead it toward the simple lines with little room for ornamentation but the wood is cheap looking. The blue squares could have some art in it as well.

Anonymous said...

Now it looks like a "Roman Catholic" Church I love it now they must have the TLM and they are all set!

John Nolan said...

Reference the Houston pictures, in the first the sightlines are all wrong. The altar is offset and although the tabernacle is prominent (if you peer through the potted plants) it shouldn't be. Placing the tabernacle on the high altar is a laudable practice in post-Counter-Reformation churches but it has given rise to a superstition that the priest offers Mass towards the reserved Sacrament.

In cathedrals the Sacrament is reserved in a side chapel, and if the bishop celebrates Mass in a church where the tabernacle is on or behind the high altar, the Sacrament is always removed. This applies in both the EF and OF.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the second with the altar rail. Without all of the clutter it seems much more focused. I am not the biggest fan of altar shrubbery either.

Anonymous said...


Can we have some idea of the cost of the project at the top?

Unknown said...


Can we have some idea of the total cost of the project that restored the Sanctuary at the top of the page? It might help those who are contempalting idea's of a simillar nature?

Jusadbellum said...

"For it is our duty and our salvation to give you thanks and praise everywhere".

To the degree we laity redirect all our thoughts and values back to the Lord by always giving Him thanks and praise for all we have and are....for the obvious blessings but also for the chances to suffer something for his Name (which is always a hidden blessing because persecution helps us clarify what and who we value above all else), we will restore Christendom.

For Christendom will be restored, Islam and the secularist western religion that's been slowly decaying for 200 years will be destroyed and our descendants will have a hand in this.

But first, we need to give the Lord thanks and praise both in liturgy and in our efforts of healing and liberating fellow Catholics as well as evangelizing the "not yet Catholics" of our social milieu.

I believe God always allows us to get what we want.... if we choose creatures over the Creator, He will let us enjoy creatures rather than Creator even as we choke and despair over such things. If instead we turn to Him in all things, we will get Him. To the degree therefore that beauty expressed in architecture, sculpture, stained glass, paintings, liturgy, music, and vestments become icons of the Lord and the great mystery rather than distractions or ends in themselves, they will be salt and light and leaven for us as we seek to be salt and light and leaven to this darkened world.

So yes, let us rejoice with better taste in architecture and liturgy...but never forget that it is all in service of the "choir" as the "choir" is in service of all the "not-yet Catholics" and the nominal Catholics whom we've been called to bring back to the fold so we may all give Him thanks and praise forever in the celestial choir and the celestial liturgy.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Nothing is cheap. I would suspect that this renovation would have cost up to $500,000 if not more. I don't like the before or after and the after doesn't go with the modern style of the building and confines things too much. I think the same goal could have been accomplished but by respecting the modern style of the building as ugly as it is. There is a clash. The altar railing and new furnishings are just too "heavy" for their modern environment.

TJM said...

De gustibus non disputandum est

t.procopio said...


1. Move the organ out of the sanctuary.

2. Until Saint Anthony recovers the candlestick, display only the two matching pairs.

3. Restore the railing to original position.

4. Use an antependium on both the front and rear altar.

5. Hire a capable artist for the decorative painting sanctuary, Mary and Saint Joseph areas.

Dan Z said...

For the "before" and "after" Texas church, I'm kind of torn. I like the arrangement of the "after" with the added altar rails, but I dislike all the wood and bright colors. The marble of the "before" (floor, wall, and altar) looks so much better.