Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can a truly successful modernistic church be built?

Matthew Adlemann, "The Lonely God: Oakland Cathedral in the Light of Tradition" (The Institute for Sacred Architecture, Vol 15), offers a thoughtful and penetrating analysis of a recent attempt at designing and building a successful modernistic church building. For those interested in liturgical architecture and aesthetics, it's a thought-provoking study. There is much here that calls for careful reflection.

Adlemann writes: "Much of the initial planning occurred during Bishop Cummins’ tenure, but ground was not broken until 2005 under Bishop Vigneron, who had succeeded the late Bishop Cummins more than a year earlier."

He concludes: "Bishop Vigneron’s guidance has led to a far more liturgically orthodox interior, for all its flaws, than many other churches being built today, including Los Angeles’s Our Lady of the Angels. Coming in to a project in progress, he may have done all that was possible to recast the interior."

[Hat tip to J.M.]


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Would you mind adding my blog to your links?

Anonymous said...

Divine Word Church in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, is a modern church that incorporates a lot of classic features in an interesting way. The one feature that seems to either put people off or to appeal to them is the crucifix from which Christ reaches down with one hand to beckon the faithful to Him. Personally, I don't go for such untrad touches but have to admit it did make me think when I first saw it.


Anonymous said...

"Coming in to a project in progress, he may have done all that was possible to recast the interior."

Bah. He could've stopped the outrage and brought in the bulldozers.

c matt said...

The Co-cathedral in Houston is not a bad attempt. It is a bit stark on the inside. Lots of white stone/marble, not much decoration, but hopefully that will come with time. The white surfaces are just screaming to be covered in biblical images!

Pertinacious Papist said...

Dear Jackie Parkes,

Flattering of you to ask, however I regret to say that I've had to drop my list of links to blogs I frequent because of some technical difficulties it created. I've visited your main blog though, and I like it, as well as your sense of humor.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

it looks a lot nicer than some modernist RC Churches I've been in. I jst hope it's easy to find the confession booths!

JM said...

Looks straight out of the Borg Collective storyllne in Star Trek, or a futuristic Buddhist fable. Or Epcot Center. Rhetorical question: are we *this* determined -- *this* meaning this many years,this many millions of dollars, and this many man hours--to forsake our legacy and build things that look nothing like churches, but instead like Unitarian meeting halls? The answer in urban seems seems Yes.