“God forgive me, but I hope the ones responsible for that altar are still in purgatory”

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post on beauty in churches, here’s a living example of a renovation gone wrong—and an effort to make it right. Last year, I posted on the remarkable renovation being undertaken at one Brooklyn parish, whose sanctuary looked like this: Now that’s changing. Here’s an update from the New York [Read More...]

Boom: California city builds first new Catholic church in 45 years

  Rendering of church designed by Robert Habiger of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, with revisions by Mark Russell, Radian Design Group. It’s happening in Bakersfield—and if this is a sign of the times, the times are full of hope. From The Bakersfield Californian:  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Bakersfield’s newest Roman Catholic parish and the first centered in [Read More...]

My favorite church

It’s where my wife and I were married 27 years ago: the chapel at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockville, Md. We paid a visit today, before heading back to New York, and had the privilege of praying during Adoration and sharing in the celebration of the mid-day Mass. There were about 70 or 80 [Read More...]

I’m back! And look who I bumped into!

I’m back from my quick jaunt to Washington, which actually was a quick jaunt to Alexandria, Virginia, just across the river. There, I sat on a panel discussing blogging for the regional meeting of the Catholic Press Association (my companions for the session were Matt Palmer from the USCCB and noted “Mommy Blogger” Elizabeth Foss). [Read More...]

Conversion story: church becomes gym

  Photo: by Will Lew Check out this item from the Wall Street Journal:  Inside the former Saint-Jude Church in Montreal, personal trainers mill about where priests once did and hot-stone massages have replaced baptisms. In this city, a former Roman Catholic stronghold where Mark Twain once said you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking [Read More...]

A new church will rise at Ground Zero

Details were first reported in The New York Times:  A gleaming, monumental and unmistakable symbol of Orthodox Christianity would rise at the south end of the National September 11 Memorial under plans drawn up for the new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The original St. Nicholas Church was crushed on Sept. 11, 2001, when the [Read More...]

After membership declines, Catholic church sold to Muslims

Details from the Sunday Express: St Peter’s Catholic church in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has now closed its doors to the shrinking congregation following the sale. Church leaders have reassured Christians the local parish, Cobridge, will continue to exist and money from the St Peter’s sell-off will be used to benefit parishioners. The identity of the buyers has not been [Read More...]

Conversion story: making the Crystal Cathedral Catholic

Photo: Mark Boster/LA Times A fascinating piece on what’s involved in the transformation, from the Los Angeles Times: The name has already been changed to the Christ Cathedral. But the work of liturgical consultants, priests and architects to transform a temple so closely identified as a symbol of Schuller’s sunny, uniquely Southern Californian theology into one that [Read More...]

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in St. Louis may join Episcopal diocese

Photo: by Huy Mach Details from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:  It has stood up to three Catholic bishops. It has weathered a decade-long legal storm. It has embraced doctrine far afield from its Roman roots. Now St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is on the verge of aligning with a different denomination entirely, joining forces with the [Read More...]

“You don’t think this is ever going to happen to your church”: Landmark Maine church prepares for sale

Photo: Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Details, from the Lewiston-Auborn Sun Journal:  Few prayers remain for St. Louis Catholic Church. The neo-Gothic landmark still sits just as it did when its last congregation gathered there in April. Stacks of spring fliers now gather dust on a table near the broad front doors facing Third Street. The grand [Read More...]