SSPX video of their amazing new US church project.

There is an amazing video available of an amazing project mounted by the SSPX in these USA.  They are building a huge and beautiful new church.

One of the things I find interesting about this video is the intelligent commentary on what it takes to plan and to build the sort of church they are projecting in the place where they want to build it. I’ve thought quite a bit about these same issues.

Building a Home Worthy of The Immaculata from Society of St Pius X on Vimeo.

Each group in every age of the Church’s life has built churches which reflect their faith, which communicate an answer to the question: “Who is the Church?”

Yes, today it is still possible to build amazing churches worthy of the name. They don’t all have to look like municipal airport terminals.

I would also like to recommend a book by Fr. James W. Jackson, FSSP, which begins with a view of church architecture based on the tenets of St. Charles Borromeo.

Nothing Superfluous: An Explanation of the Symbolism of the Rite of St. Gregory the Great 


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. docsmith54 says:

    Churches in the round should be leveled to the ground.

    [I am not sure what this has to do with the video that I posted. They certainly are not going to build a church in the round. And, according to your declaration, you would therefore demolish one of the most ancient basilicas in Rome, Santo Stefano Rotondo.]

  2. Marius2k4 says:

    I like it!

  3. Ave Maria says:

    Wow! Just wow. To see that full church as it is now is like going back in time to when I was a girl and the churches were full. And to build a church to seat over 1000! Praise the Lord for the need to have something like this; may it be so in other places as well.

  4. Steven says:

    What a beautiful project! I hope they finish it as soon as possible!

    I’d also like to request a prayer for my own SSPX chapel, that we find a new church building soon. We’re standing room only on Sundays now but can’t afford to build a new church, and finding a suitable used church is difficult: I’m told other Catholics won’t sell to the SSPX, and protestants don’t have suitable buildings.

    Thank you

  5. fmsb78 says:

    I see something else in this video which is catholic demographics. People who is willing to keep the faith are moving to places where the TLM is available.

    If I ever have to move from my current location, my top priority non-negotiable item on the moving list is the access to the TLM, daily if possible.

    [That’s a good point.]

  6. Gab says:

    Extraordinary. Such a beautiful video and a magnificent church in honour of our Holy Mother. Brought tears to my eyes several times. Look at all those young people, the future of our Church.

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    “Yes, today it is still possible to build amazing churches worthy of the name.”

    As illustrated vividly by the Adoremus Bulletin‘s extraordinary photo essay on the dedication of Knoxville’s beautiful new cathedral:

    Deep in the Heart of the South—Deep in the Heart of Christ

    The stunning photos are posted at the end of the essay. From its first paragraph:

    “The event received local media coverage as a milestone marking the growth of Catholicism in a region where only three percent of the population identifies as Catholic. But relatively unnoticed was the cathedral’s importance in the renewal of Catholic architecture in the United States. With its intentional embrace of the classical tradition, design sophistication, theological fullness, and iconic richness, the construction of the $31 million edifice marks a singular high point in the recent revitalization of Catholic visual and liturgical culture.”

    From the final paragraphs:

    “In sum, the patrons, architects and artists of the new Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus have done something not seen for more than half a century: they commissioned an affordable building which nonetheless uses an erudite and recognizable classical mode, fine materials, local customs, time-honored Roman motifs, and a theologically-informed iconographic program.
    “The cathedral does indeed represent a great local achievement, and congratulations are in order to all involved. But it is also more. With a humble budget in a diocese of a mere 70,000 Catholics, this cathedral has set the high point to date for architectural and theological richness in the postconciliar United States.”

    The SSPX will do well if it matches this high point standard set by Knoxville.

  8. APX says:

    If I ever have to move from my current location, my top priority non-negotiable item on the moving list is the access to the TLM, daily if possible.

    I moved to a different province, let alone a new city, to attend the TLM. Always a renter, I’ve made it my priority to move to a place less than 4 kilometres from the church. Somehow, it has always managed to work out that something was available in my minuscule rent budget. I’ve been spoiled and am now dreading a 10 km drive to go to Mass this morning in the city I’m visiting. No 4 minute drive for me this morning.

  9. Hidden One says:

    It was good to be able to confirm from their website both the wheelchair-accessible side doors and the elevator.

    I hope and pray that it will be possible for diocesan bishops, archbishops, and other Catholic representatives, including from the Jesuits, to attend the church’s consecration as a fruit of the complete reconciliation of the Society and the Bishop of Rome.

  10. Felipe says:

    i love this video, thank you so much for sharing! Now if only we could get the Traditional Latin Mass said in the beautiful churches we already have here where I live, maybe they wouldn’t talk about closing down, but also build bigger and more beautiful ones! This video is inspiring! We long for our traditions, we need them!

  11. Suzanne says:

    Henry Edwards, the SSPX wouldn’t need to look to Kansas for high standards. The new cathedral in Kansas is beautiful. There doesn’t seem to be a high altar for use in a TLM, but I do see a Communion railing which is so encouraging. I notice the article doesn’t mention the Communion rail but I hope there are plans to use it.

  12. SanSan says:

    so beautiful. makes me so sad that the SSPX is not acknowledged as licit……am I wrong here?

  13. TonyO says:

    The plans of the church have considerable similarity to the church finished in 2009 at Thomas Aquinas College, see here:

    although that chapel is not as large as the planned building at St. Mary’s. The Romanesque motif is apparent. Very beautiful, very suitable as a church for worshiping Christ according to the Roman rite. Interestingly, it is also true that at Thomas Aquinas College there is a TLM daily, though they also have NO masses daily as well.

  14. TonyO says:

    SanSan, I hope there is someone with more complete knowledge than I have, but as far as I can see, the SSPX as a society cannot be “valid” or “invalid” as such. There was, apparently, an attempt to suppress the order (back in the 1970’s), but the SSPX claim is that the attempt was irregular, in that it did not follow proper forms. I don’t know enough about the rules, but their claim seems (to me) to have some plausibility.

    The 4 bishops that Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated are considered by Rome to really be bishops. Rome has negotiated with Bishop Fellay as, at least, the de facto head of a religious society, so there is some plausible basis for thinking he really does have some canonical status. Pope Benedict also lifted the excommunication of the 4 bishops, so they are not under that cloud, either. It is reasonable to believe that the ordinations of their priests are valid. I think Fr. Z has in the past used the term “irregular” to describe their canonical status, which I think is helpful: the term isn’t conclusive about what is presently true, and leaves room for a later determination to be more conclusive. Certainly their masses are valid masses. A given lay person might attend such a mass with an intention of being schismatic, but such an intention is in the person, and it need not apply to the whole order or to each and every priest in it. The laity are not members of the order anyway.

  15. Johann says:

    Reminds me of the beautiful churches I saw when I was in Spain and Portugal two years ago.

  16. If it raises our view to GOD and transports us from the mundane, then, by definition (mine, anyway) it is beautiful.

    In the same vein, if it looks like a warehouse, sounds like a warehouse, has the soul of an industrial estate building (regardless of the cross over the entrance) it isn’t beautiful. Sorry. De gustibus non disputandum est.

    Now this doesn’t posit that you can’t have a reverential, visually pleasing interior and sanctuary in a nondescript building (which really comes down to the ‘liturgical fashion sense’ of the pastor), but, anything erected to the glory of God, I think, should draw us up from our baseness, not pander to our horizontal nature and be architecturally indistinct from the local 7-Eleven or Sam’s Club.

    There is a reason the great cathedrals of Europe, the beautiful churches of our own country (think the shrine basilica in DC, St. Patrick’s, my own current project of St. Anne’s in Fall River) raise our eyes naturally to the heavens…the bauhaus minimalist constructs of the 60s and 70s? Not so much. Duncan Stroik has more work than he knows what to do right now correcting the mistakes of the recent past.

    The SSPX, regardless of their canonical status, Get It ™. How many chancelleries or parish councils do, when it’s time to build?

  17. Semper Gumby says:

    Great video. Fr. Wagner: “…away from something casual…to something lasting.”

    Nothing Superfluous is an illuminating explanation of church architecture, vestments, the traditional Mass, and Latin in the Liturgy.

  18. Sean says:

    I love how the intriot of the mass of the dedication of a church starts off with terribilis est locus est terrifying is this place. I watched a Taylor Marshall podcast with Fr. Heilman and he was talking about how he went to mass at St.Peter’s in Rome and how he was struck with the fear of God in that church. We have lost the fear of God in many modern churches because they seem too comfortable. The priest later went on to say how a church was supposed to remind of eternity and when you step into a gothic, Romanesque, baroque etc style church you really do feel like your in a different place. The immaculata looks like it’s going to be one of the most beautiful churches that has been built in the this century if only the sspx would come into full communion with Rome.

  19. Sean says:

    Also remember the church of St. Mary of the Martyrs more commonly known as the colosseum is a consecrated church that is round should this marvel of Roman engineering be demolished?

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