Succisa virescit: Another parish church reborn after destruction

The other day I posted about the rebuilding of a little parish church which had burned a few years ago on Christmas Eve.  The rebuilding was quite the success.  E cineribus resurgit.

I see now that another parish church, destroyed – 47 years to the day that it had been dedicated – in the horrible tornados that struck Joplin, MO some time ago, has been rebuild as well.  Rebuilt and significantly amplified. I wrote about that parish HERE

And now… from the Joplin Globe:


Friends, it is possible to build better than we have been building for the last few decades.  It really is.

I congratulate the parish on their new church.

Succisa virescit.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Peggy R says:

    If I may promote: In March 2012, a tornado whipped through Southern IL and destroyed St Joseph parish, another rural German Church. It looks (looked) similar to the one in Brussels. The parish announced a re-naming soon after the canonization of St. Kateri; the parish is now named after her. It is grouped with other parishes served by one priest in Gallatin County, in the Belleville Diocese. The parish has begun rebuilding. It looks like a traditional structure is planned. Here is some video from the blog the parish is keeping.

  2. Cantor says:

    It would be utterly fascinating to meet representatives of the original and new design committees to see what was their vision for the church!

  3. Rich Leonardi says:

    It’s nice to see a baptismal font located in the nave or narthex that doesn’t look like a jacuzzi.

  4. msc says:

    Wow: what an improvement, and an inspiration. Alas, my church looks much more like the former one. I’m going to write them a cheque right now. For anyone interested, see .

  5. Giuseppe says:

    Did anyone see this Christmas service spoof on Saturday Night Live?,p5,d1
    Looks Episcopalian, but it’s more mainstream American Catholic than I’d like to admit.

  6. aquinas138 says:

    It’s wonderful to see the church rebuilt. Poignant too, as our parish, Epiphany Byzantine Catholic Church in Roswell, GA, was damaged by arson in the wee hours this morning. The suspect is in custody and, thank God, no one was injured. We did lose a wall in the nave and the holy icons hanging on that wall. Our next door neighbors, a Malankara Orthodox Church, will be allowing us the use of their Church for our liturgies while we await repairs. Lord have mercy!

  7. catholictrad says:

    The new Church looks exactly like the Methodist in Chambersburg PA.

  8. FrankWalshingham says:

    Here is a great article on church architecture by Fr. Dwight Longenecker. Straight and to the point:

  9. tgarcia2 says:

    So catholictrad, what are you implying? That it’s not Catholic enough since it looks like a Methodist church in Chambersburg (wherever that is) PA? Honestly, it’s an amazing structure that looks better than before, and unlike that Methodist one, Christ is made wholly and truly present in the Sacraments at St. Mary’s in Joplin Mo.

  10. bookworm says:

    This is, indeed, Just Too Cool. I don’t see anything in the article about this, but I would hope they were also able to save the cross atop the old church and reuse it in some fashion, because the picture of the cross standing above the wreckage (second pic above) was an iconic image, in every sense of the word, of the tornado disaster and was used on Facebook pages, secular news sites, etc.

  11. bookworm says:

    “destroyed – 47 years to the day that it had been dedicated”

    Actually, that refers to the dedication of the NEW church (1967 + 47 = 2014)

  12. jaykay says:

    In a similar vein of “resurgam”, today’s Irish Times features the restoration of St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford, Ireland, after the disastrous fire at Christmas 2009

    It had been totally gutted and the quality of the craftsmanship in the restoration seems superb, along with a fine new pipe organ. The new sanctuary… not so much. But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    Fr. Z had posted about the fire back when it happened:

  13. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    May this be an allegory for the Church herself over the last 50 years.

  14. Mike says:

    Regarding Chambersburg (which is in south central Pennsylvania about an hour away from the state capital of Harrisburg), no doubt there are architects who design both protestant houses of assembly and Catholic churches. Regarding the latter, minimalistic big-box is surely better than rocket-ship, but still seems far from ideal.

  15. Cafea Fruor says:

    Would it be wrong to ask God for a few more tornadoes? You know, just a few well-placed tornadoes that destroy ugly churches but leave homes and people totally unharmed? ;-)

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