Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More from Springfield Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

In today's Springfield Journal Register

Extensive interior refinishing and redecorating; a new baptismal font; a sanctuary accessible for people with disabilities; and a new altar, pulpit and bishop’s chair. The tabernacle will be refurbished but will stay in its present location"

This does not sound good.

Notice in the attached drawing, the altar rail has either been removed or replaced with a rounded form. Also, "sanctuary accessible for people with disabilities" is generally a code phrase for lowering and chopping the sanctuary.

Anyone have a more definite plan from Springfield about this?


Anonymous said...

How do we stop this? This plan is absurd...like the 1980s drawn forward into 2008. Bishop Lucas, you are old. Your ideas are outdated. It might sound uncharitable, but it is true. The times have changed and you haven't. You will retire soon and will have to answer to God for this. Its time to let your successor, who understands this generation, oversee this renovation. DO NOT DESTROY THIS MASTERPIECE!

Anonymous said...

As a member of the committee, I can tell you what I know. The high altar is to be removed or modified to make it lower, and it may potentially be used as part of the new altar. The altar rail is gone, replaced with a rounded design to add more space to the altar. The immersion font is at the center of the aisle in the cross. I am sad by these changes too. If anything they should make it more traditional...in line with Pope Benedict's Hermeneutic of Continuity.

Ellen said...

I like it. The spaciousness of the sanctuary is needed for concelebrations, for RCIA ceremonies like the Rite of Election, and to allow room for decent processions with the Gospel Book and that sort of thing. Access into the sanctuary for persons with disabilities is of course a requisite these days.

Waltherist said...

I hope when they tear down part or all of the convent building to make way for an atrium, they have the foresignt to dismantle it gently. They can then put the stone blocks and other important pieces in storage until a generation or so down the line. I'm sure someone is going to eventually come along and realize the error of such a drastic architectural alteration. These things do not age well.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes indeed, the sky is falling. How do we stop this? Lord knows Jesus wouldn't want the sanctuary to be "accessible to people with disabilities," right?

Stop and think about the implications of what you oppose. Of course the entire church should be accessible to people with disabilities. What sort of ignorance deems access for people who have disabilities a bad thing? Seriously! Here's praying that neither you nor I ever end up with a disability that would require such access. Yet we may. Think about it, please.


JB Powers said...


Of course the sanctuary should be accessible to people with disabilities, but why does this entail destruction of the High Altar? Removal of the Communion Rail? Re-Orientation of the Altar?

The simple answer is, it doesn't. But the wreckers have long used some emotional argument of access to the sanctuary to justify their dislike of traditional Catholic Architecture and orthodoxy.

The plan should be redone to maintain the Liturgical significance of the Architect's design AND provide access to the disabled.

It can be done, and I can get you (or Bishop Lucas for that matter) 20 architects who can do this in a respectful manner. However, if Springfield is dead-set on destroying an architectural masterpiece, it doesn't matter who the architect is; it will be destroyed.


Michael A. Beauregard said...

Please, if you have not read "The Renovation Manipulation" by Michael S. Rose, do so as soon as possible. Also, the proposed changes would not make the Tridentine Mass very accessible in the future. Oh, maybe that is the point!

Mark Scott Abeln said...

I heard from the Monsignor who is heading up the renovation... and the reredoes and tabernacle will stay. The Bishop's cathedra will remain in the left of the sanctuary. I'll give you more details later.