OTTAWA -- When flames ripped through one of the world’s most famous Catholic churches in Paris, France, on April 15, 2019, the world — not just Catholics — mourned the damage done to one of Western civilization’s most iconic structures.

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Though I reside in Santa Barbara, I am in Los Angeles a good deal for meetings and other events. When I’m in the city, I like to walk the downtown neighbourhood. My favourite building to look at while I’m on these strolls is the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home base of the L.A. Philharmonic and the creation of Canadian Frank Gehry, probably the best-known architect in the world.

Published in Faith

In Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, the church of Hallgrímur (Hallgrímskirkja) towers above the city. It is the tallest church in Iceland, rising almost 75 metres. Locals boast that you can see its spire from almost anywhere in the city — like a compass of sorts.

Published in Register Columnists
VATICAN – The Vatican is helping organize an international conference meant to help dioceses work with their local communities in finding appropriate uses for decommissioned churches.
Published in International
VATICAN – For its debut at the "Biennale di Venezia" International Architecture Exhibition, the Vatican commissioned 10 renowned architects from around the world to turn a small wooded plot on an island in the Venetian lagoon into a spiritual-artistic pilgrimage of chapels.
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TORONTO - There are a lot of very traditional Catholics who would have trouble explaining what a baldaccino is. Even the select few who know might have trouble identifying the hexagonal baldaccino above the altar in St. Joan of Arc on Bloor Street West.

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VATICAN CITY - The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is establishing an office to promote the development and use of appropriate liturgical art, architecture and music.

The new office was approved in early September by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state; final arrangements and the designation of personnel are being made, said Marist Father Anthony Ward, undersecretary of the congregation.

The office will provide advice, encouragement and guidance, he said, but it will not attempt to impose specific styles.

"The church has always adopted local artistic, architectural and music styles," Father Ward told Catholic News Service Nov. 14. At the same time, as the Second Vatican Council taught, "it always has emphasized Gregorian chant as the homegrown music of the Latin rite."

While the Pontifical Council for Culture promotes efforts in the area of sacred art and music, the congregation's new office will focus specifically on art, architecture and music used for Mass and other formal moments of prayer.

The Second Vatican Council document on the liturgy said, "The church has not adopted any particular style of art as her very own; she has admitted styles from every period according to the natural talents and circumstances of peoples, and the needs of the various rites."

It called for the preservation of the great liturgical art of the past and the encouragement of modern artists to create pieces appropriate for Catholic worship, "provided that it adorns the sacred buildings and holy rites with due reverence and honor."

Published in Arts News