Friday, February 8, 2008

Little Flower, Toledo

I was aware of the fact that Little Flower parish is thinking of building a new church. A comment, recently, set me to looking into their need for one. The current building dates from well before the mad dash to the suburbs, so, like many suburban parishes, Little Flower has grown dramatically. Let's put it this way. If, some Sunday, 100% of the registered members decide to show up for Mass, they're going to have to move it out into the parking lot. The current building is just too small and doesn't even come close to meeting the needs of the parish.
Now, if you read this blog regularly, you know that showing me a picture like the one above is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. In this case, I'd like to wish the parish well. I'd encourage them to look to the future, rather than clinging to the past and to find out what people actually want a church to look like, rather than having a small committee of "experts" tell them what they should want in order to match the "cutting edge" of ecclesiology. ( Which usually means being permanently stuck in neutral around 1979. ) Times have changed. Follow the lead of the Holy Father and of the young architects, designers, and artists, rather than has-beens like Vosko. Consider providing a home for some of the artwork from the closed parishes. It's high in quality, can fit into a new design beautifully, and should be used instead of collecting dust in storage. Don't forget to make room for some of the excellent artwork the parish already has.
The Holy Father says the Church isn't an either/or proposition. It's both/and. Church architecture and design should never be a matter of hidebound idealogy, whether "progressive" or "traditionalist". It should be a matter of old and new working together for the glory of God, the true purpose of any church.
And if you're looking for ideas on the sort of thing most people really like, try one of the most successful suppliers, Granda Liturgical Arts.


ShariYS said...

Parking lot? That's WAY too small. They'd have to move it out onto the playing field!

Adrienne said...

Several years ago when our parish was still hot on the trail of building a new church they formed a committee (don’t they always?)

I convinced Father that the kids should also form a committee because this would be their church in the very near future. Without fail – each and every kid from 7th – 12th grade wanted a church that “looked” like a church. To them that meant marble, candles, statues, nice art, etc.

Jeffrey Smith said...

One hopes everyone else got the message.