St. John Neumann parish, Farragut, TN

Here’s an article from the Jesuit-published America magazine, noting that traditional church design has made a remarkable comeback. Not all the churches in the accompanying slideshow are exactly my cup of tea, but they are a million times better than their predecessors in the last generation of church architecture. For example:

I find this very encouraging, but America magazine doesn’t feel the same way. The subhed:

Are new church designs taking us backward?

Gosh, I hope so! When you recognized you’ve gone down a dead end, retreat is progress. On its website, St. John Neumann parish, pictured above, has a nice, short, well-illustrated primer on church design, and why its parishioners decided to return to tradition — in their case, the Romanesque tradition — when they built their new church. Excerpt:

The design for Saint John Neumann is intentional. A Catholic Church building should speak, sometimes subtly, at other times forcefully, about the truths and the mysteries which are celebrated within its walls. Such is the case with Saint John Neumann Church. At the dawn of the third millennium we hope that Saint John Neumann Catholic Church can make a contribution to the repositioning of church architecture to its rightful place, by expressing in a dynamic and awe-inspiring way, the role of the liturgy in the Church and the Church in the world.

Good for them! Want to see some knock-your-socks-off beautiful contemporary Catholic architecture? Go to the neotraditionalist church architect Duncan G. Stroik’s website.