New Church In South Carolina by James McCrery

Architect James McCrery has released images his designs for St. Mary Help of Christians, a new church being planned in Aiken, South Carolina, not far from Charleston. Planned for a downtown, historic setting, the building will seat about 850 worshipers with anticipated ground breaking in 2013. McCrery is well known to CMR readers as the architect of the proposed "Mystic Monk" coffee monastery in Wyoming as well as the chapel for the Nashville Dominican sisters and the new Newman Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
An article in the local newspaper says the church will offer a nine-story tower, while the facade will be made of limestone and the remaining exterior would take up the southern tradition of genuine colored stucco. One of the great features of this church is its urban location and its embrace of the street with wings that extend forward  to create a garden courtyard. It's very much in the Roman tradition and very much in the southern American tradition.
This church again reminds today's Catholics that it is indeed possible even for a small parish to build a beautiful new church by a talented and properly trained classical architect. Enjoy!






Comments

  1. Looks nice. Let's hope they also get the tabernacle in the right place and that altar where it belongs.

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  2. Umm Aiken is a good 2 hours from Charleston!

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  3. I was a student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln my sophomore year of college. The only thing that they could improve about the AMAZING Catholic ministry on campus would be to improve the architecture of the Newman Center. Great stuff I see in the plans. Can't wait to go back and visit!

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  4. (ummmm) I'd say two hours is not far....must be an east coast commenter!

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  5. Needs side altars.

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  6. Stu, if you look closely at the floorplan, you'll see that the tabernacle
    is set behind the altar, on the central axis. Also, there appear to be
    plans for an altar rail! The plans look lovely -- kudos to that diocese
    and to the architect.

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  7. I am sure they are going to miss the electric guitar playing right next to the altar. They will be so jealous of us here in Sacramento.

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  8. Stu, bien dijo con respecto al Altar y el Tabernáculo, a lo cual hay que agregarle la doctrina católica de siempre y no la nueva misa protestantizada

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  9. Y'all, there's no (Canon) law that says you MUST live in an area where Catholicism-Lite still dominates. South Carolina can always accommodate a few (scores of thousands) more observant Catholics. We won't even be too perturbed should you bring your own business/job/independent income with you.

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  10. I live in the Diocese of Charleston. There is another wonderful church also being planned, and I recommend checking it out. It's Our Lady of the Rosary. It's going to be a magnificent Romanesque structure, yes, with a ciborium and, yes, with an altar rail and, yes, with the tabernacle dead center.

    Here:

    http://olrgreenville.net/NewChurchUpdates.aspx

    My own parish is building a new structure, but I am not confident it will be nearly as good as these. Alas, it will be cruciform at least.

    The only thing I can complain about these beautiful new churches is, as Pater O.S.B. said, no side altars. It looks so awful to go into a magnificent church and have nothing but bare walls along the nave. What else can go there besides altars? Very silly and totally unnecessary recommendation from that nasty GIRM to only have one altar.

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  11. Aiken is between Columbia, SC and Augusta, GA. It is nowhere near Charleston.

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  12. On the matter of side altars, I imagine they could be added later,
    as funds permit. If the parish is small, it might be more sensible
    to build/furnish the church in stages.

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