I remember as a kid entering the Cathedral of the Holy Name in Chicago back in the 1980s and one word came to mind: hideous.
Meanwhile, the benignity of the Church's artistic footprint remains and is still often ignored. Okay for the outside, but no way on the inside.
Earlier this year was a fire in this same cathedral (flames shot through the 134-year-old landmark). Perhaps now we can pledge to get it right, but who knows?
The wiles of the Cody era remain. At the same time we know that tares will always be sown even with the good grain until the Lord returns in glory. Wheat, but always chaff, too.
Chaff? But through it all authentic church architecture reposes, still. It reposes on the wisdom and counsels of the Church through the centuries (God) Who has called us inwardly by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to get it right with the churches we and our forefathers pay and have paid to construct.
The time is now to get it right: "You are a chosen generation, a holy nation" (1 Peter 2:9). Why not now? We are chosen, let's make it holy. Restore this interior to a Catholic ethos (and please no carpet and the same odd windows!).
Ah, the windows. But today it is often about money, and feelings. The feelings of the last guy who headed the renovation project and he's still living today so nobody can hurt feelings and agree with a new plan. And the ever present lack of money? Ah, so wont is man in his terrestrial and transistory path!
But the laws of Catholic architecture are in such ample terms: we have a fine Gothic revival example here and let's keep it that way and why not? The outside shell is already present. So now let's make the interior match with the exterior, again. This rare colour photo is a model!
With pertinacity the establishement might ask to keep it all the way it is (or was in the 1970s). Typical, but laughable. Like big brother once said: "What was cool in Daytona Beach in 1994 isn't necessarily what is gonna be cool tomorrow."
And to the old score "Hey, let's make everything modern!" we can reply in 2009: "Thanks, but done that already" and to those that still conjecture, with certainty we can say: "Nice, but Gothic on Gothic is a sure win."