The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

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The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Hovannes » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:54 am

in my diocese.
I've heard about it, but haven't seen any pictures until now
https://kmph.com/news/local/fox26-takes ... in-visalia
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Jester » Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am

Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.

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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Sir Moose » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:05 am

Jester wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am
Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.
I think we miss out because of this.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by coco » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:31 am

Sir Moose wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:05 am
Jester wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am
Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.
I think we miss out because of this.
The Greek word that is translated as "church" means "assembly of people," not "building." Each of the believers is a temple of God, and so church is when the temples come together to worship. There is not NT precedent for pretty buildings, and most NT churches met in someone's house.

That being said, I think that church buildings in the shape of a cross are cool. I particularly like the mission aesthetic of this one. Feel free to make fun of me now.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Sir Moose » Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:16 am

coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:31 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:05 am
Jester wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am
Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.
I think we miss out because of this.
The Greek word that is translated as "church" means "assembly of people," not "building." Each of the believers is a temple of God, and so church is when the temples come together to worship. There is not NT precedent for pretty buildings, and most NT churches met in someone's house.
...
I understand and fully agree with that. However, having said that, I think the use of our talents can be an expression of worship and generally speaking I don't see utilitarianism as the best way to worship through architecture. Additionally, such architecture can serve as a reminder to the worshipers that they are stepping into a space dedicated to worship and can thus serve to help draw their minds and hearts toward God. We have to be mindful not to allow the architecture to take on an idolatrous role, but it can certainly play a role in proper worship.

Here's an article on the subject: The Architecture of Worship
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by coco » Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:32 am

Sir Moose wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:16 am
coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:31 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:05 am
Jester wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am
Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.
I think we miss out because of this.
The Greek word that is translated as "church" means "assembly of people," not "building." Each of the believers is a temple of God, and so church is when the temples come together to worship. There is not NT precedent for pretty buildings, and most NT churches met in someone's house.
...
I understand and fully agree with that. However, having said that, I think the use of our talents can be an expression of worship and generally speaking I don't see utilitarianism as the best way to worship through architecture. Additionally, such architecture can serve as a reminder to the worshipers that they are stepping into a space dedicated to worship and can thus serve to help draw their minds and hearts toward God. We have to be mindful not to allow the architecture to take on an idolatrous role, but it can certainly play a role in proper worship.

Here's an article on the subject: The Architecture of Worship
Part of the question usually involves money. The extra money spent on making a place look nice could be used for orphans, keeping missionaries on the field, etc. Many Protestants, then, shoot for something that isn't an eyesore but isn't too expensive. The result is utilitarian.

It is worth noting that some aesthetic improvements can be made with minimal expense by a good architect. Facades can be your friend. The mission style of the church in the OP might actually not cost that much to make and seems like just the thing for California.

--------

However we look at the question, it is important not to say, "They had a pretty temple in the OT, therefore we should have a pretty church in the NT age." Such ignores the redemptive-historical development of the concept of "temple."
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by tuttle » Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:22 pm

As a smidgen of this thread has already demonstrated, it seems to depend on what lens theologically is being looked through that informs the architecture of our worship space. (I once heard John Piper say he and R.C. Sproul disagreed on this subject along these lines. ie. Piper desiring more of a utilitarian/strictly necessary pragmatic type worship spaces while Sproul opting for beautiful/unpractical worship spaces.)

I think the freedom we have in such is actually one of the astoundingly ingenious ways God has used to accomplish the spread of his kingdom. By decentralizing worship (a time is coming when you will no longer worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem) from a place to a Person, by way of indwelling the worshippers as the temple, one of the byproducts of this glorious truth is that the formal worship in the presence of God can occur when two or more are gathered in the name of Christ. Which is to say, this can happen in Jerusalem, Tokyo, the bottom of the sea, or on the moon.

That said, I think there is a theological justification for beautiful places of worship, or at the very least a justification against ugly ones. If the medium conveys a message, it behooves us to at least think about it. And I think you can easily draw the conclusion that if we are to set our minds on whatever is true, good, lovely, and praiseworthy, we could just as well surround ourselves with it in our places of worship.

Of course circumstances will necessitate how we go about it. It's one thing when a church has little to no resources, thankful to meet wherever the Lord provides regardless of how beautiful it might be. On the other hand, I find it almost a crime when a church spends millions of dollars on a worship space that looks like a shopping mall or a prison. When you have abundant resources and the ability to create a place for worship and you choose to create something ugly, brutal, drab, or otherwise influenced by modernity, I can't help but read that as a type of commentary on what they think of God and worship.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Del » Fri Apr 23, 2021 2:28 pm

Hovannes wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:54 am
in my diocese.
I've heard about it, but haven't seen any pictures until now
https://kmph.com/news/local/fox26-takes ... in-visalia
This is good news and bad news.

The bad news is that the bishop imagines that building larger churches is a solution to having fewer priests.
"It's a creative response and we hope a solution - if there can be such things - to, for example, a shortage of priests and a large increase in the Catholic population here in the Central Valley," said Bishop Joseph Brennan with the Catholic Diocese of Fresno.
- In our diocese of Madison, a former bishop took this same approach.... building larger churches (1000+) in central locations, with an eye toward closing many little parishes.
- His successor (our beloved Bishop Morlino) decided that the solution to a priest-shortage is to foster vocations and ordain more priests. (He decided that this was much more urgent than re-building our cathedral, which burned down the year that he arrived.) This effort was very successful, and now we have many solid young priests. We even had to have a capital campaign to fund their educations!

There are 18 men in seminary for our diocese this year. A young man from my parish will be ordained this summer.

The good news for Fresno Diocese is that they have a large church to handle the needs of their large diocese .
Bishop Brennan says all future ordinations of priests and major events for the diocese will take place at St. Charles Borromeo.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by mcommini » Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:46 pm

coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:32 am

Part of the question usually involves money. The extra money spent on making a place look nice could be used for orphans, keeping missionaries on the field, etc. Many Protestants, then, shoot for something that isn't an eyesore but isn't too expensive. The result is utilitarian.
I can think of another attempt to do a beautiful thing for the Lord where someone mentioned that the money could be better spent feeding the poor. I'm pretty sure that the person who made that suggestion was someone we can all agree we aren't to imitate.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by FredS » Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:59 pm

It's very possible, you know, to care for widows and orphans and build special worship spaces.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by FredS » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:02 pm

coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:31 am
. . . There is not NT precedent for pretty buildings,
Is there prohibition?
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Del » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:20 pm

coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:31 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:05 am
Jester wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am
Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.
I think we miss out because of this.
The Greek word that is translated as "church" means "assembly of people," not "building." Each of the believers is a temple of God, and so church is when the temples come together to worship. There is not NT precedent for pretty buildings, and most NT churches met in someone's house.

That being said, I think that church buildings in the shape of a cross are cool. I particularly like the mission aesthetic of this one. Feel free to make fun of me now.
In English, we use the word church to translate ekklesia, and also to describe the building where the church assembles and worships. The local Church meets at a local church. In the middle 100's, St. Iranaeus of Lyons wrote that "one can go into any town and ask 'Where does the Catholic Church meet? and the resident will answer." [He wasn't writing in English, of course. He was defending the Ekklesia Katholika from the various local gnostic sects.]

My point is that no one seriously confuses the Universal Church with any church building, not even in English.
----------------------------------------------

New Testament Christians met in synagogues. They soon came under persecution and met in homes, because it was secret. In Rome, the worshipped God by the graves of martyrs in the catacombs, knowing that the martyr was with God in heaven.... and met for prayer and lessons in homes.

I had the great experience of pilgrimage to Rome, and visited some churches that were built during the era of Constantine the Great (early 300's), shortly after religious freedom was restored and Christians were able to build whatever they like.

The first Christian churches in Rome were round -- because pagan temples were round, and "round" was the iconic shape for places of worship. But Christian churches were very different from pagan temples. The pagan temples were beautiful on the outside, where the people stood. The insides were for the priests only (or priestesses, for a goddess), and they were spare little spaces with little more than an altar -- and lots of oily soot from burnt offerings.

The Christian churches were simple on the outside.... intentionally imitating the warehouses and utility buildings of the time. But stepping inside, they met a space filled with art and iconic architecture. It was an experience of leaving the world and entering into heaven.

We can still the baptismal fonts built into the entrance of each church.... they "passed through water" as they came to meet Jesus. This ancient symbol remains in most modern Apostolic churches, even if it is just a font of holy water to touch and remind us of our baptism.

In the design for St. Charles Borromeo above, the Baptismal Font is Item #3. We still walk by water as we enter!

Many elements are straight from Scripture -- such as the altar and candles and veils and images of angels (as well as bread and wine), as described by Moses for the Tabernacle (Exodus 25–31 and 35–40). Jesus revealed the significance of the Bread and Wine, and commanded us to do this when we worship Him.

I don't really know when the cruciform architecture was adopted for Christian churches, but I suspect it was very early on. Roman iconography was rather quickly disregarded as Christians were eager to develop their own. The cruciform church is based on the Cross, of course. This lends itself to incorporating arches, recalling the promise of God's forbearance to Noah and the sign of the rainbow. The stained-glass windows told stories from Scripture or remembered great Christian saints. And then the icons of the Eastern Christians!

The architecture of the ancient church buildings tells us a lot about what the ancient Christians believed. Studying ancient church architecture is an amazing testament to how constantly the Faith was kept as is passed across the continents and down through the centuries.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Del » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:32 pm

FredS wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:59 pm
It's very possible, you know, to care for widows and orphans and build special worship spaces.
Poor villagers and immigrants sacrificed to build beautiful churches as a gift of love for generations to come.

For many dark centuries, a church was the only beautiful building in a village -- and a single hand-written Bible (with illuminations) was perhaps the only book to learn from. Poor people jealously guarded and preserved these treasures, eager to hand them down to their children and grandchildren and posterity.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Del » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:37 pm

mcommini wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:46 pm
coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 11:32 am

Part of the question usually involves money. The extra money spent on making a place look nice could be used for orphans, keeping missionaries on the field, etc. Many Protestants, then, shoot for something that isn't an eyesore but isn't too expensive. The result is utilitarian.
I can think of another attempt to do a beautiful thing for the Lord where someone mentioned that the money could be better spent feeding the poor. I'm pretty sure that the person who made that suggestion was someone we can all agree we aren't to imitate.
Through the ages, various reformers have come through and done just that-- from the Iconoclasts to Marxists.

And then "the poor" gathered what they could to begin the process of rebuilding and redecorating the churches.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by FredS » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:54 pm

Del wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:32 pm
FredS wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:59 pm
It's very possible, you know, to care for widows and orphans and build special worship spaces.
Poor villagers and immigrants sacrificed to build beautiful churches as a gift of love for generations to come.
I get it. It's primarily people outside the Church who trot out the "You should spend your money helping people instead of building ornate buildings" line when a congregation builds anything more fancy than a tin box.

I'm not romanticizing 'simple natives' or idealizing poor indigenous people but - - -
We visit Cabo San Lucas Mexico every few years for fishing. We stay in a small coastal town a half hour away from Cabo because it's a lot cheaper. Our hotel is filled mostly with Mexican families who vacation there for the same reason we do. Our favorite restaurant is on the town plaza and has seating on the roof. The plaza is the center of village life and the Catholic Church building anchors the plaza. It's an old adobe building. Not fancy but meticulously clean. The people are proud of their building and their plaza and it's filled with festivals or simple family picnics almost every evening. It's a safe bet that we spend more on our one-week trip than most of the residents earn in 6 months, but they still have a nice building. It's all relative.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Del » Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:39 pm

FredS wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:54 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:32 pm
FredS wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:59 pm
It's very possible, you know, to care for widows and orphans and build special worship spaces.
Poor villagers and immigrants sacrificed to build beautiful churches as a gift of love for generations to come.
I get it. It's primarily people outside the Church who trot out the "You should spend your money helping people instead of building ornate buildings" line when a congregation builds anything more fancy than a tin box.

I'm not romanticizing 'simple natives' or idealizing poor indigenous people but - - -
We visit Cabo San Lucas Mexico every few years for fishing. We stay in a small coastal town a half hour away from Cabo because it's a lot cheaper. Our hotel is filled mostly with Mexican families who vacation there for the same reason we do. Our favorite restaurant is on the town plaza and has seating on the roof. The plaza is the center of village life and the Catholic Church building anchors the plaza. It's an old adobe building. Not fancy but meticulously clean. The people are proud of their building and their plaza and it's filled with festivals or simple family picnics almost every evening. It's a safe bet that we spend more on our one-week trip than most of the residents earn in 6 months, but they still have a nice building. It's all relative.
Americans are really weird. We are so damn wealthy. We have resources to build beautiful churches for the future and care for needy people now -- and we are too cheap to do much of either. We are a rather miserable lot, for all of our wealth. Lonely and bored in our suburban isolation.

The poor folk in your Mexican village care proudly for their church and host daily festivals in their village church-mall.

I think we've lost something that they still have. Something fundamental to Christian faith and culture.

That big new church in Visalia, CA.... I hope they have lots of parties on the lawn.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by coco » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:58 pm

Del wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:20 pm
coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:31 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:05 am
Jester wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am
Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.
I think we miss out because of this.
The Greek word that is translated as "church" means "assembly of people," not "building." Each of the believers is a temple of God, and so church is when the temples come together to worship. There is not NT precedent for pretty buildings, and most NT churches met in someone's house.

That being said, I think that church buildings in the shape of a cross are cool. I particularly like the mission aesthetic of this one. Feel free to make fun of me now.
In English, we use the word church to translate ekklesia, and also to describe the building where the church assembles and worships. The local Church meets at a local church. In the middle 100's, St. Iranaeus of Lyons wrote that "one can go into any town and ask 'Where does the Catholic Church meet? and the resident will answer." [He wasn't writing in English, of course. He was defending the Ekklesia Katholika from the various local gnostic sects.]

My point is that no one seriously confuses the Universal Church with any church building, not even in English.
----------------------------------------------
,,,
Yep. You missed the point.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by FredS » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:37 am

Del wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:39 pm
Americans are really weird. We are so damn wealthy. We have resources to build beautiful churches for the future and care for needy people now -- and we are too cheap to do much of either. We are a rather miserable lot, for all of our wealth. Lonely and bored in our suburban isolation.

The poor folk in your Mexican village care proudly for their church and host daily festivals in their village church-mall.

I think we've lost something that they still have. Something fundamental to Christian faith and culture.

That big new church in Visalia, CA.... I hope they have lots of parties on the lawn.
Last time we went to San Jose Del Cabo we had a rain day so we went to a local cultural museum instead of out on the water. My brother in-law, who's retired at 48, wealthy, and never married wondered aloud "Why Mexicans aren't as successful as Americans." Mrs FredS and I, almost in unison, said "Depends how you measure success." We reminded him of the families, friends, and young love birds we watched on the plaza the evening before. The children from the dance studio dressed in their traditional garb dancing on the stage. Pineapple smoothies and hot churros from the food stands. It all looked pretty nice to us.
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Del » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:10 am

FredS wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:37 am
Del wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:39 pm
Americans are really weird. We are so damn wealthy. We have resources to build beautiful churches for the future and care for needy people now -- and we are too cheap to do much of either. We are a rather miserable lot, for all of our wealth. Lonely and bored in our suburban isolation.

The poor folk in your Mexican village care proudly for their church and host daily festivals in their village church-mall.

I think we've lost something that they still have. Something fundamental to Christian faith and culture.

That big new church in Visalia, CA.... I hope they have lots of parties on the lawn.
Last time we went to San Jose Del Cabo we had a rain day so we went to a local cultural museum instead of out on the water. My brother in-law, who's retired at 48, wealthy, and never married wondered aloud "Why Mexicans aren't as successful as Americans." Mrs FredS and I, almost in unison, said "Depends how you measure success." We reminded him of the families, friends, and young love birds we watched on the plaza the evening before. The children from the dance studio dressed in their traditional garb dancing on the stage. Pineapple smoothies and hot churros from the food stands. It all looked pretty nice to us.
got one for ya --

Single, wealthy, early-retired BIL, looking upon a village of happy natives: 'Why aren't Mexicans as successful as Americans?'

G.K. Chesterton: 'To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.'
-- The Wisdom of Father Brown: "The Paradise of Thieves"
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Re: The largest RC parish church (3,000 cap) is being built

Post by Del » Mon May 03, 2021 7:43 pm

coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:58 pm
Del wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:20 pm
coco wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:31 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:05 am
Jester wrote:
Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:04 am
Very cool. There is only a small group of Reformed Evangelicals that still think we should have beautiful architecture for our churches.
I think we miss out because of this.
The Greek word that is translated as "church" means "assembly of people," not "building." Each of the believers is a temple of God, and so church is when the temples come together to worship. There is not NT precedent for pretty buildings, and most NT churches met in someone's house.

That being said, I think that church buildings in the shape of a cross are cool. I particularly like the mission aesthetic of this one. Feel free to make fun of me now.
In English, we use the word church to translate ekklesia, and also to describe the building where the church assembles and worships. The local Church meets at a local church. In the middle 100's, St. Iranaeus of Lyons wrote that "one can go into any town and ask 'Where does the Catholic Church meet? and the resident will answer." [He wasn't writing in English, of course. He was defending the Ekklesia Katholika from the various local gnostic sects.]

My point is that no one seriously confuses the Universal Church with any church building, not even in English.
----------------------------------------------
,,,
Yep. You missed the point.
I have been meditating a long time on this.

The early Christians were full of missionary zeal. When they were able to openly work in peace, they built churches to assist their missionary work. They didn't decorate their churches just to be pretty -- they wanted their places of worship to speak the Gospel news even when no one was preaching or worshipping. Thus Christian architecture is full of iconography and biblical art.

I was pondering how this Christian tradition should translate into the Calvinist tradition, with its particular concerns for biblical teaching, undiluted with excessive imagery, and focused on evangelism.

I recommend that a church of the Calvinist tradition should have just one symbol prominently displayed: A Crucifix.

Anyone stepping inside would see and know that this space is dedicated to spreading the one great biblical message: "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."
G.K. Chesterton — 'It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.'

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