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New Church at St. Francis in Frisco March 19, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, North Deanery.

I’ve never been to St. Francis of Assisi parish in Frisco, but I know the vicar there, Fr. Vincent Anyama.  Fr. Vincent has an incredible vocation tale.  But that’s not the point of this post.  St. Francis is finalizing plans for a new church building, as well as a new building housing a chapel.  The plans are online.   I don’t know if I have any readers from St. Francis, but I’m curious to know what they think.

Me? I think the new church has potential.  At least it demonstrably looks like a church from the outside, unlike many built from the 60’s-90’s.  Inside, the layout is about right, although the uber-hip plunging pool baptismal font is beyond cliched at this point.  The layout is pretty traditional Catholic, even if in detail it’s more contemporary than I think is best.  There is potential for a proper  altar to be put in allowing Ad Orientem worship, although the artist’s drawings currently show a versus popli setup.  Feh.  Overall, I think it’s pretty good, but still tends too much towards iconoclasm and the coldness of modernism for my taste.  But that’s just me, you’re ridiculously opinionated host.

The chapel looks to be a mashup of tradition and modernism.  There appears to be a retablo of some sort, but the rest is very modernist.  This happens alot when a parish tries to appease all preferences.  I imagine there was a general preference for a more traditional church, but a significant and influential minority favors modernism.  That probably drove some of the choices seen in the drawings.

One thing I wish pastors would really focus on when designing a church that will be standing for many decades, if not hundreds of years, is to think “How will this be viewed 50 years from now.”  So many of our churches look like bad excesses of whatever style was dominant at the moment it was designed 10, 20, or 50 years ago.  I prefer a far more timeless look.  The exterior is a good start, but the interior will appear dated in 10-20 years.

A church should be designed to transform and uplift the body and soul.  It should be a soaring experience.  This is a good start.  I pray that our churches in the future will be designed for a timeless, transformative quality that reinforces that Heaven and God literally come to reside with us during the celebration of Mass.  Our Pope has stressed that architecture can have a profound influence on worship.


1. Mary - March 20, 2010

They are asking for comments on their new church plans.
I like the traditional rectangular shape, elevated alter, stained glass, and much more; including the St. Francis Crucifix. The brick 2-tone reminds me of St. Joseph’s in Richardson.
But I do hope there is a tabernacle front and center of the church (do I see it on the right?) And the choir should really not be in front, but in the rear gallery, for acoustical reasons.
I would also love to see a return to the beautiful sacred art, maybe even a reredo.
I would love to see a return of the statues, inside and out, and the richness at the alter fitting for the un-bloody Sacrifice!

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