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I think I’ve found my architectural dream church January 14, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Latin Mass, Liturgy, Our Lady, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.

It may not exactly be perfect.  In fact, there are a number of items that might not be fitting, locally.  But as a guide for what I hope our local FSSP parish church becomes, one day, Notre Dame de Bon Secours in old town Montreal looks just about right:



I want to help build a church that will last for centuries.  I want to help build a church that people will remember, that will take years of sacrifice to achieve.  I am concerned with the “build it quick and get it done” mentality.  This parish in Montreal was not built in 3 years.  Details were added over decades.  And what detail!



I really think there is much value in a church that has an explosion of architectural and artistic detail.  This detail should apply both externally and internally.  There is nothing wrong in taking advantage of modern technology to accent the beauty of a Church’s design, as in the architectural lighting above.  Blended with classic elements, like 18th century copper cladding on the roof, it really draws the eye in.



Take your time, and do it right.  Get genuine stained glass.  Have paintings actually commissioned, from true talents, not modernist dilettantes. Pay great attention to detail.  Have a good plan and be willing to add bits and pieces over time.

For local purposes, I really think this Notre dame de Bon Secours could serve ideally as a model for any new, enlarged traditional church.  The proportions are about ideal, this chapel probably seats about 4-500, just right for a booming TLM community. Ahem.


Montreal_Church_2_(7959684500) If at all possible, spare no expense with materials!  Use fine marbles, woods, etc.  And have scenes from our Faith just about everywhere!  A Catholic parish is a concrete effort at evangelization!  Who knows what particular statue of a Saint, work of art, or biblical scene might not stir a heart towards conversion!  Even some recently built parishes for traditional communities seem to reveal a certain reticence to go full-bore with the glorious Catholic art as our forebears in the Faith did.  But they knew what they were doing!  Why else do you think this chapel is a major attraction today?!



I think it wonderful to have large paintings commissioned to adore the sanctuary and other parts of the church.  And I love a gloriously detailed altar.  Get rid of that table in the front! It’s blocking my view. At least they kept the altar rails, probably at the insistence of some secular historical preservation society!


A fine church, redolent with detail of far from trivial expense, speaks of the love these souls had for their God and their Church.  I long to contribute to the creation of something similar, something my grandchildren or great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy with great pride.  I am ready to sacrifice, and quite a bit, to help achieve something like this.  The FIRST duty of the Church is to render Sacrifice, honor, and glory to God.

Some may balk at the expense of such a structure, saying we should direct such funds to worldly do-good activities, but parishes like this uplift all, the rich and poor alike, and fulfill magnificently that duty to honor the God and Creator of the universe.  The Church understood that for a long time……I pray we understand that again.


Rome, as they say, was not built in a day.  Beautiful parish churches may take decades to complete – and that’s OK.  There is no need to rush.  When creating something intended to last, and to be of such good for souls, for centuries, it is no problem at all if it takes some time to complete.  I also really value the exterior statues of angels and Our Lady (in this case Our Lady Star of the Sea, obviously appropriate for a major port city like Montreal, not so much, locally), which give yet another exterior witness of our Faith.  Think how many generations of Catholic Quebecois sailors crossed themselves when passing this wonderful church while they glided down the St. Lawrence River to the open sea and its many dangers.

A wonderful, well executed 15 foot statue of Our Lady might move many souls around a local parish to re-embrace their faith, or bring down Grace upon themselves while passing by.  The vast majority of our Catholic churches today look like poorly done secular auditoriums.   Most give absolutely no visible exterior witness of what they are, or if they do, they could very easily be mistaken for a protestant church.  The chapel above veritably shouts to the world, We are Catholic, and we are proud!

Lord let us build such monuments to Your Glory once again!

If you know of similar examples of beautifully turned out chapels/parishes, lay them on me.  Especially those in the small-to-mid size, I know there are many glorious cathedrals, but that is probably a bit beyond the scope of the local community’s ability to support!


1. cg - January 14, 2014

Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses.

2. JLG - January 14, 2014

If we ever wanted to put the money into real stained glass, someone should let me know. I have a friend from college, his parents own a stained glass company in west Texas. He has in the past told me just as a guesstimate that it would cost about $800 per window.

3. St Maravillas21 - January 14, 2014

That IS a beautiful church! It is SO far from my parish church that was just built 4-5 yrs ago. Mine is a monstrosity of ugliness and wannabe Prostestant!

Lorra - January 14, 2014

So is mine.

4. Mike Minnis - January 14, 2014

When you said not to worry how long it takes to build a church, I thought of Gaudi’s church in Barcelona which is not finished after a century of work. Have you seen Chartres Cathedral ?

5. James Prime - January 14, 2014

Reblogged this on James Prime and commented:
A Catholic architectural masterpiece that stands as testimony to the banality of man centered modernity.

James Prime - January 14, 2014

This 3D virtual of Notre Dame de Bon Secours Chapel http://www.marguerite-bourgeoys.com/360/08ndbs.html is linked from the link above but well worth reiterating.

6. Hannah - January 15, 2014

Absolutely beautiful! Truly a temple befitting for Our Lord Jesus Christ!

7. John Madison - January 15, 2014

It is a beautiful church. I visited there in 1987. If you ever get there go to the shrine of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys in the crypt.

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