I often hear complaints about the state of things in the Church, but am fortunate to be involved in the renewal of sacred architecture, both in teaching and practice. One of the maxims I teach my students is that architecture is the “built form of ideas.” That means that abstract ideas take built form in liturgical buildings and their artistic enrichments. When parishes and religious communities have their act together, love the Lord and His Church, and want to do what is right, good architecture tends to follow. Below are just a few of the new buildings which are either under construction or planned for construction which should give everyone’s heart a burst of hope.
New convent for Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Kansas City. They are a new community growing by leaps and bounds. Their proposed building is designed by William Heyer of Columbus, Ohio, a young, talented and faithful architect. The sisters could use donations to help bring this building to reality.
St. Michael the Archangel Church, Leawood, Kansas serves a rapidly growing community with a trustworthy pastor, Fr. Bill Porter. They hired David Meleca’s firm of Columbus, Ohio in association with GLPM Architects to design their new church. A building which clearly associates itself and the parish with the larger traditions of the Church, it also partakes of a gradual approach to the reform of liturgical architecture. On the left is the architect’s first proposal, just to show what kind of design talent is out there. On the right is the design after it met reality with the budget. Still a wonderful design.
Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, Our Lady of Solitude Monastery. This group has grown out of Mother Angelica’s community in Alabama, and was welcomed into the Diocese of Phoenix. Though I worry about the sisters’ choice of architects (their designs reveal that they are not specialists in authentic traditional architecture) they are trying to make an appropriate Franciscan architecture.