church beauty

Today’s feast of the Dedication of the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran might seem like a strange focus for a feast. It is however a timely feast for our Christchurch diocese embarking on the rebuilding of Catholic churches destroyed by the 2010 / 2011 earthquakes. It was the emperor Constantine who built the first basilica on the Lateran site in the early […]

building blocks

Today’s offering from The Liturgy Guys is especially timely for the parishes in our Christchurch diocese that are in the process of building or restoring churches. The building or restoring of a parish church is a great opportunity for a parish to grow in appreciation of the nature of a Catholic church building. Such deepening […]

build or restore?

The gift of Tradition In recent months I have been invited to meetings at several Christchurch Diocese parishes which are facing the building or restoring of churches damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 – 2011. My role is to assist them with the design and liturgical aspects of their new or restored church building. The task of […]

over the hill

On Tuesday afternoon I drove “over the hill” to the West Coast for an evening adult formation session for the parishes of the West Coast. The drive across the alps was as always spectacular and at the time I facebooked some images from the journey. But the real highlight of the day was the opportunity to […]

a new earth

This week-end’s (6 August) feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus has got me thinking again about church building. Let me explain the connection. In recent weeks I have been reading about the importance of beauty. Beauty is one of the three transcendentals, not an opinion in the eye of the beholder, but an objective reality that corresponds […]

building a church

Five years on from the devastating Canterbury earthquakes, a number of parishes around the diocese are looking to build new churches to replace destroyed and damaged churches. While this mission provides a great opportunity, many parishes are struggling to appreciate the significance of a Catholic Church building as our pragmatic kiwi minds rush ahead to […]

building beauty

One of my classes this morning with Denis McNamara got me thinking anew about beauty. It is commonly commented that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but certainly the human eye (and mind and heart) can be formed to appreciate beauty. Beauty is an objective reality. The ancients knew this and since antiquity goodness, truth […]

church building

I was speaking to a Christchurch diocese parishioner a few weeks ago who is a part of her parish committee preparing to rebuild their parish church. I was surprised to hear her suggest that while their “century-old” church was damaged in the earthquake, she hoped that it would be demolished so that their parish could […]

Sagrada Familia

One of the must-see places in Spain is the Basilica of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It is 130 years since construction of this magnificent church began, and it is still many decades (at least) from completion. In the years after architect Antoni Gaudi‘s untimely death in 1926 construction work ceased as architectural fashion moved towards […]

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