"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
I thought that the whale skeleton thing was still going on. I was wrong. That was the design by the hip and trendy Spanish architect. The current one appears to be more like the reactor core of some new-fangled power plant. It is hard to believe, but it seems to be even uglier than the original proposal.
He offers a proposal of his own:
We need a striking cathedral that reflects California, not some imitation revivalist thing. Certainly architects must take the best from the past, but Catholics do not need to stop at the Baroque (this coming from a harpsichordist!).
If I were designing a new cathedral, I would look towards the Arts and Crafts movement, which has profoundly influenced our local architecture. It is a striking style, encourages good ornament (indeed requires it), has roots in the Gothic without simply aping the style, has proven to be quite suited for our climate and native materials, and would provide a signature church that would reflect our own time and place (as the approach can even bring in modernist styles and make them work).
I would design using California serpentine and granite, redwood, oak, bay laurel, stained glass, glazed ceramic, brick, and ferrocement. It would be full of wooden sculpture, bas relief, glazed ceramic stations of the cross, candles, and icons. It would be thoroughly Catholic, while taking the best of art and architecture across the spectrum. It would have a choir loft with a magnificent pipe organ. The ornament would reflect California: poppies and eucalyptus would lend their forms to magnificent cast-iron window frames as well as screens for side chapels. The tabernacle would be front and center, made of high quality California woods, hammered copper, jade and gold. There would be a high altar for the regular celebration of ad orientem Latin masses (of either missal).