As many people know, a small but very real movement is going on in the advancement of Catholic liturgical architecture. The quest for beauty and re-engagement with tradition has come roaring back, and “traditional” churches are now the norm. The problem is that often the “tradition” is only skin deep, and even then not done very well. The same “almost” classicism that we see in shopping malls appears in churches, and, sadly, it usually is done less well than the shopping mall since the parish usually has less money to spend.
I thought it might be fruitful to share with CMR readers a series of short bulletin entries I have been writing for the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Leawood, Kansas, the rendering of which you see above. This parish not only hired a very talented design architect named David Meleca who knows real classicism from strip-mall classicism, but also wanted the best theological richness possible. (click here to see daily updates photos from the construction site). This is a 14.6 million dollar building, which sounds like a lot, but is pretty standard these days for an adequate church budget. It seats 1200 people and includes all the usual things like a large narthex, bride’s room, and full parish hall with parish office below.
This project proves that it can be done today, and done well. I’ll post the first of the series of articles explaining the theology of architecture as exemplified at St. Michael’s later today. Happy reading!
Part 1: Architectural Theology at the New St. Michael’s Church
Part 2: Architectural Theology at the New Saint Michael Church
Part 3: Architectural Theology at the New Saint Michael Church
Part 4: Architectural Theology at the New Saint Michael Church
Part 5: Architectural Theology at the New Saint Michael Church