Rorate Caeli

Renewal or wreckovation? The renovation of the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, FL

The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida was closed earlier this month for renovations until next year. The reasons given for the renovations are both practical (relating to much-needed repairs, replacements and space requirements) and liturgical (the need to make the cathedral 'effectively serve the requirements of contemporary worship', in the words of the cathedral website -- see here.)

The interior of the cathedral as it stood in May, 2012:


And the planned appearance of the cathedral after the renovation:


The altar rail will be removed with parts of it being relocated to the area behind the altar (in front of the tabernacle) while the pillars holding up the sanctuary corona and surrounding the altar will also be removed to enable the congregation to "see everything". 

The diocese's official explanations of the renovations can be found in the following articles:




A cathedral worthy of the "New Evangelization" or an echo of the era of giant malls? What do you think, dear readers?

75 comments:

Francis said...

St. Jude is the patron Saint of hopeless cases, which fits here, because this church's "renovation" and appearance IMO is hopeless. At least by the standards of what a traditional Catholic church should look like.
St. Jude pray for us. And for the whole Church.

Ryan Ellis said...

The bishop is age 71, according to his Wikipedia page. Too much time to prevent a wreckovation.

Former General Secretary at the USCCB from the bad old days. A liberal bishop pushed along by his liberal bishop overlords, I suppose.

Bob F. said...

I must say, I don't really care for either. From a purely aesthetic point of view, the renovation actually looks like an improvement. It does not, however, look particularly suited to Catholic liturgy.

poeta said...

We should save all of these "before and after" pictures for the future generations whose task it will be to reverse them.

NIANTIC said...

So typical of most "renovations". In this case the removal of the Altar rail is telling of the mindset of the powers in charge there. In this new worship space communion in the hand and standing is the norm. Any thought of kneeling while receiving Christ the King is to be banished. Come one, come all in whatever attire you feel comfortable. What a bunch. Lord have mercy.

Jonvilas said...

The picture of the planned renovations says it all - the bishop is in a nice conversation with two nice old ladies. Thus, this is the "church of the nice", not the House of Prayer. What is planned is evidently people talking a lot, instead of praying. I'm just wondering, did they make any survey, whether people really need to "see everything". What's about sacredness? what's about devotional silence of prayer? what's about the true spirit of liturgy as 'a participation in Christ's own prayer addressed to the Father in the Holy Spirit' (CCC 1073)? Well, one can say, that this is rather old-fashioned project, something from the 70s...

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

The overall effect is clear. The Cathedral will become a more consumer-friendly theater, with better viewing of the "show." That is in invariable legacy of the new mass.

Katharine said...

LOVE how the after pic shows 3 people gabbing at the front of the church...

ken said...

Why did they leave the tabernacle in the center of the church? Isn't it supposed to be hidden around a corner or in some side area like in all the other modern churches?

sam said...

A modern architecture Church gets a modernist facelift. Or maybe a post-modernist realignment.

Cruise the Groove. said...

The before Cathedral resembles a Catholic Church.
The planned look resembles a "Living Waters Ministry Center"

The Protestant Identity continues in the Church.

By the way, St Judes is one of the few Catholic churches in central Florida that offers [or used to offer] a Sunday TLM.

Lily said...

This is very much in line with what has happened to San Antonio, Texas churches. The diocese claims "renovation is needed to make the church safer" and then a terrible looking amphitheater is the result. It looks like churches I attended as a Presbyterian before I converted. Just dreadful!

P.K.T.P. said...

Actually, I mostly agree here with Bob F., although I would not go quite that far. It was a wreckovation in that the Altar rail was removed. However, I don't think that the older arrangement was very suited to Catholic worship either.

Since ideological wreckovations continue, the liberal revolution is not over. While some good things have been happening under John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the old 1970s programme is still be implemented as well. This will be cause for the S.S.P.X to be very wary in its negotiations.

P.K.T.P.

A Mom said...

The Sanctuary in the "after" picture reminds me of an ice hockey rink.
They forgot to draw the guy who walks up and down the aisles shouting "beer here!"

Christopher said...

There is something rather eerie about the latter picture...

Christopher said...

Also to note, can anyone actually see where they will be placing a Blessed Virgin Mary statue in the design? Or any iconography of the saints?

Christopher said...

Final comment. Does anyone know what that thing is supposed to be at the left near the door?

Dr. Rudolph Masciantonio said...

Wreckovation at its height.

LeonG said...

Would you really like a frank answer to the question?

Nothing has changed in The Post-Conciliar Church since the late 1960s. It is hell-bent on destroying Roman Catholicism replacing it with pluralistic humanism.

Jonathan Knox said...

The Cathedral of St. Jude is my parish. We have the traditional Mass in the day chapel, which is in a building separate from the cathedral itself.

While the old cathedral is no jewel of traditional church architecture, it at least somewhat preserved the traditional form with a nave and separated, elevated sanctuary. The new plans call for a lowered sanctuary with ramps. Also, the main entrance at the feet of the nave will be reduced and a new main entrance will be constructed there where you see the baptismal 'pool' on the left. The back half of the nave will have the pews taken out, so the church will have an 'in the round' structure- a hallmark of Bishop Lynch's renovations in this diocese. It's all very sad.

Tom S. said...

I find the resemblence of the "modernized" layout to be a clone of the in-the-round parish in my hometown, complete with the teal-colored carpet and the oh-so-1960's windows.

A look which even the aforementioned home parish is actively looking to get rid of because it is so "dated"!!!

Blah! said...

Sounds I can easily imagine coming from the main "stage"

Photo #1 "I find you in contempt. Bailiff! Remove that man!"

Photo #2 "Sold! Sold! Sold to the man wearing a straw hat in the second row!"

Both are hideous. Neither is inspiring. Neither gives glory to God. God who??

Tony W. said...

Like most, if not all, church re-orderings since V.II, the primary purpose of this supposed renovation is to provide a space for assembly, in line with the now standard assembly theology of most clergy. That this sort of re-ordering is still considered a mere matter of 'business as usual' shows how little practical impact the Reform of the Reform and the Hermeneutic of Continuity has had in most dioceses.

croixmom said...

I live in the Diocese of St Petersburg, FL.

I drive from Tampa to Sarasta at least 3x per week, to attend Mass at the FSSP parish in the Diocese of Venice, FL.

Need I say more?

Message to modernist bishops: I have been very happy to contribute $$$$$ to help build and maintain the FSSP parish in the next diocese, whereas we have refused to donate a dime to these ugly Protestant-inspired excuses for "worship space" in our own diocese.

croixmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
croixmom said...

@ Jonathan Knox,

Where are you able to have the TLM during the desecration of the chapel?

Matthew M said...

Although the way it looked before could be described as 'suffocating' and unattractive, the new appearance must be stopped! Some aspects I like but over all it's as if they are going the opposite direction of what the Pope wants. How can they do this? LORD HAVEE MEWRCY!

Matt said...

What can you say to that? When they screwed with it first time they rendered it useless any which way one looks at it. As it is now, there is no practical way to say a Tridentine Mass anyway. How about just ditch the cupola? That would open up things pretty much and just add better lighting. This is why it makes it very difficult to want to contribute to the parish because this what they do with your hard-earned money. If the majority of this parish is in favor of what's planned, then let them squander their money.



Ryan Ellis said, "The bishop is age 71, according to his Wikipedia page. Too much time to prevent a wreckovation.

Former General Secretary at the USCCB from the bad old days. A liberal bishop pushed along by his liberal bishop overlords, I suppose.
"


Notice how these has-rans and the way they think hang on like grim death? I don't get it. This bishop had better be careful. There are hurricanes sitting off Florida.


Bob F. said, "I must say, I don't really care for either. From a purely aesthetic point of view, the renovation actually looks like an improvement. It does not, however, look particularly suited to Catholic liturgy."

Nope, it doesn't, but it does look like it's quite right for Masonic events from which all of this gets its inspiration.

!

Dymphna said...

It looks pretty ugly now. I don't see that the renovation is too much worse.

Elizabeth said...

It looks to me like they're changing a church into a small venue for concerts. The "altar" is now a stage, to my eyes. Good grief, and this is happening NOW?

The 'before and after' pictures are a joke, except it's not funny.
This looks like something that would have been done in the 1970s.

Only Christ is King said...

Same here, croixmom. To those who faithfully defend and preserve the Faith we have given thousands but not as much as a penny to those who offend the Almighty by their words, actions...or silence.

Dominic Maria said...

@Ryan Ellis : I dont think even the Freemasons would like this at least they have some taste!

Metro said...

Very food-court.

Matt said...

Elizabeth said, "It looks to me like they're changing a church into a small venue for concerts. The 'altar' is now a stage, to my eyes. Good grief, and this is happening NOW?

The 'before and after' pictures are a joke, except it's not funny. This looks like something that would have been done in the 1970s.
"


Exactly. This is the mentality of the Novus Ordo. Ad Populum worship de facto puts the priest on show. The altar does become his stage and the modernist priest does perform. At least in this regard, the V2 crowd is consistent. They have this anthropocentric (man is the center of everything) mentality and thus all they do emphasizes and maintains this thinking.

NBW said...

The before pic is bad but at least the Communion rail is there and the Tabernacle is close to the altar.
In the wreckovation pic, the Communion rail has been removed and the Tabernacle seems so far away from the altar. Plus it looks like a stage. Love how they have people chatting in Church. Do I spot Sister Carol Keehan in the front by the altar?

Poor Yorek said...

::facepalm::

I'm sorry to say that the proposed sanctuary looks like a transporter pad (Star Trek reference).

Annibale Bugnini said...

A picture is worth a thousand words. This picture of this Catholic "church" is the epitome of the spirit of Vatican II....man centered, modernist, ecumenical and humanist. Blah!!

Matt said...

Grrr. I forgot to add that this is a very unique circumstance. It's where something awkward is just being updated to modernly awkward. :|

On this point, this bishop here missed the great opportunity to restore the grandeur of the Faith to which the Church may be actually trending; trending upward, not continuing to devolve into meaninglessness.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

How tragic. So often we see positive reports of improvement here, where the two photos could be reversed.

As an architect working on restoration, my heart bleeds to see this continued destruction of the sacred on the altar of modern relativism.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Reading some of the other comments after posting my previous, one should add that this is pretty hideous building anyway, but demonstrates nonetheless an awareness of the sacred, of the 'setting apart' of the sacred liturgy. The proposed version is a denial of these.

Those of us who work with buildings of the 20th century must often discern the fine line between the absence of 'generally acknowledged' beauty , and disdain for the beautiful. The accident as opposed to the deliberate. One is a mistake, the other a sin.

croixmom said...

Unfortunately, this particular bishop is not friend of Tradition.
His flock suffers.

Jonathan Knox said...

@ croixmom:

The chapel will not be touched in the immediate future, as far as I know. There are plans at some point to take the original high altar of the cathedral and place it in the chapel. We will see..

Loyolakiper said...

I'm going with wreckovation. However, in my opinion the cathedral was hideous before it being close for it's much needed up dates... But on a positive note, at least they are projecting to get At least 24 spectators to come back for the show. Hahaha!

Did anyone notice the bishop in the front standing and speaking with 2 old ladies?

Froben said...

Bad Points:

1) The altar rail is gone.
2) Where has the organ gone?
3) The altar rail has gone to the back of the sanctuary, to facilitate "private prayer" before the sacrament. Meaning that a) private prayer will occur on the sanctuary or b) the tabernacle will no longer be there.
4) The canopy over the altar (quite proper) is gone.
5) Baptismal pond installed.

Good points:

1) Wooden altar becomes marble altar.
2) More light (that place looks kinda dingy).
3) More stained glass (of a kind).

Honestly, at present it isn't bad at all. Choir lives apparently behind the sanctuary, suitably obscured (lofts are not necessary or even normative. The choir should in fact be near the sanctuary).

Joe Potillor said...

It's not the worst wreckovation ever...a wreckovation is still a wreckovation nonetheless...it needs to be stopped

Joseph said...

The money would be better spent demolishing the old edifice and building something entirely new.

Nate said...

I didn't like it to begin with but the proposed changes are obviously not for the better. I'm sure there will be a proposed "adoration chapel" where the tabernacle will be moved to some obscure side room like it is in all the Catholic churches built in the last 20 years in my Diocese.

A. M. D. G. said...

Just in time for the "return to tradition!"

Sunshine State said...

Unless I'm looking at the "after" photo wrong, they are keeping the "park bench" looking pews. They are absolutely terrible. When you go to put your missal or hymnal down, the book oftens falls into the row behind you.

By the way, this is the same bishop that would not allow our parish to reinstall the altar rail where we celebrate the Tridentine Mass. We have to use several wooden kneelers placed together. He is such an inspiration.

David said...

Unfortunately the before is not much better than the after, and both are a good example of what the norm is for most churches in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

The lone exception to tacky modernist architecture, that I'm aware of, is Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa, which is over a hundred years old.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Heart_Catholic_Church_(Tampa,_Florida)

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

This disaster is yet another illustration of why the "reform of the reform" is not possible. The Church must be rebuilt from the ground up. Here in the Diocese of Steubenville Ohio, there is only one Church worth retaining - St. Peter's. All the others should be raised to the ground. None of them look even remotely Catholic, thought the are certainly appropriate for the Protestant services that take place therein.

Cecelia W. said...

Before and After... both are completely uninspiring. Considering this bishop is due to retire in four more years, he is doing a great disservice to his successor, who - no matter who he is - will undoubtedly be embarrassed by the Carnival cruise ship design chosen for his new seat. Someone needs to take the bishop on a tour of the great cathedrals of Europe before he signs off on this travesty.

Mike B. said...

I see the vocabulary of 'voskospeak', the infamous liturgical design consultant who led the way for many others in the art of wreckovation.
Yes, a theater for musical and theater productions is St Jude's future. However, the Tabernacle remains front and centered. There must have been an enormous conflict [behind quiet closed doors] to prevent the moving of the Tabernacle.

Michael F Brennan
St Petersburg, Florida

John Fisher said...

The wreckovation is puke! Where do these guys get their idea from "Star Trek" or that great 70's movie "Logans Run"?
The new design makes my skin CRAWL!

the Council will be a success any minute now..... wait for it...... there are always some rough spots after an ecumenical council...... wait for it..... any minute now..... said...

Wow! That looks great! *barf*

Elizabeth D said...

From bad to worse. They would do so much better to just make repairs rather than do something ridiculous.

Cecilia said it well that this bishop's successor, no matter who that is, will not appreciate the "Carnival cruise ship"/"mall food court" design. If they are going to renovate they should get an architect who specializes in sacred architecture. But really this seems a clear case where it is better left for the successor bishop to decide what to do.

Peterman said...

I attend this Church and I know every corner and nook. Having young children I have stood in the back of St Jude many times and looked with my traditionalist eyes. First off this can't be a wreckovation because there is nothing here to wreck, save an alter rail which must have been the one thing the modernists who designed this building left for traditionalists. There were also beautiful statues of Mary and St Jude behind the alter which I don't see in the new pictures. I have kneeled and prayed and filled out prayer requests at those statues many times. I'm sure they dumped them somewhere

It first dawned on me while at St Jude's that the bugnini revolution didn't just show up in the late 60's, it was planned and in the works for decades. St Jude's was already modern from the time it was built (1062) and it is a weird mix of different styles and the most bizarre thing was that the side aisles were not wide enough to walk down so people after communion would turn back up the main aisle of the Church. Basically everything at this Church was made in a modern,disharmonious way and designed to take your mind into the modern world. The statues are of course white because we don't want any protestants to wander in and claim we worship statuses so no flesh toned, life like statues. Now it seems they've removed even the the plain statues.
Whatever, this kind of stuff doesn't even phase me anymore. We have youtube nowadays so whenever I get down on the modernists such as at St Jude I put on the headphones, crank this up and dream of the day when the Holy Church is restored.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDortyyp228&feature=fvsr

Peterman said...

David said..
"The lone exception to tacky modernist architecture, that I'm aware of, is Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Tampa, which is over a hundred years old."

David, you've not seen St Mary's and St Paul's in Saint Pete. Check them out, no TLM unfortunately (of course) but most everything is intact and untouched by the V2 wreckovators. These beautiful, old churches cry out for a TLM.

Rick said...

When I see these kind of "renovations" I recall the last days at my local parish when the desided to add projection screens for video and moved Our Lord from the left side of the sanctuary to a chapel on the side. I refered to it as a nice dog house for our Lord. I thank God every time I see things wrongful changes to His house for the over crowded little SSPX chapel my family and I now attend. Fewer priests mean fewer but larger churches. When we lost vocations we lost the neighborhood parish to the mega churches. Our Lord never ment for one preist to handle so many souls.

Athelstane said...

Considering that we're talking about Lynch-ville, I'm frankly surprised that it isn't even worse.

James C. said...

Alas I went to Sacred Heart while visiting Tampa for precisely that reason, that it didn't look like some tacky spaceship or U-Haul storage building.

Alas the friars running that church subjected me to one of the worst Novus Disordos I've experienced. Several times I came close to walking out during that "mass" and taking a couple Lefebvrydril Pluses out in my car to keep my sanity. Shudder.

Italicus said...

"Exactly. This is the mentality of the Novus Ordo. Ad Populum worship de facto puts the priest on show. The altar does become his stage and the modernist priest does perform. At least in this regard, the V2 crowd is consistent. They have this anthropocentric (man is the center of everything) mentality and thus all they do emphasizes and maintains this thinking."

So, worship in the great Roman basilicas has always been anthropocentric, modernist performance has it?

Richard M. Sawicki said...

Tony W. said:

"That this sort of re-ordering is still considered a mere matter of 'business as usual' shows how little practical impact the Reform of the Reform and the Hermeneutic of Continuity has had in most dioceses."

The progress of both the reform of the Reform movement and a proper internal understanding of the Hermeneutic of Continuity are necessarily slow-going because they are inextricably linked to the passing of the older generation and the rising of the younger. These priests and bishops who were formed in the heyday of the radical changes are clueless to the fact that the pontificates of Bl. John Paul II and Benedict XVI have even occurred.

We must patiently wait (and pray, pray, pray!) until the blessed days when the young, orthodox priests who are being ordained today (and their numbers are growing and growing) whose spiritual lives and priestly identities were formed by JPII and BXVI, who today are young curates, in time become the future pastors, vicar generals, seminary rectors, and indeed the ordinaries of dioceses. These are the future leaders who will wipe out, once and for all, all of the rot that we've suffered these past forty-odd years.

It will be a painfully SLOW process, but it has already begun.

We must wait and pray, wait and pray, and wait and pray!

Gaudete in Domino Semper!

Sixupman said...

Are there those in the Diocesan management with shares in the church re-building and refurbishing business? Not to mention the architects and publishers who have made a mint out of re-ordering and missal changes.

WSquared said...

No, it's not the worst wreckovation I've seen.

...but it looks like my high school gymnasium!

Peter said...

I emailed the cathedral commenting on the new design,saying it was a pity they weren't following the Pope's example of instigating the 'reform of the reform',ie. keeping the altar rails,communion on the tongue while kneeling and leaving the tabernacle in the sanctuary. I got a reply back from the director of communications ( whatever that is)thanking me for my compliments and stating that they were updating the layout in conformity with Vatican II. Obviously he didn't read my email properly. These people seem to be stuck in their own little world.
If you want to see a church that has been properly restored look at the website of St. Patricks, Soho Square London. I've recently visited this church, and it really is fantastic.

John Fisher said...

Here is the response I got from Frank Murphy with the grand title Director of Communications. Yes I noticed grammatically incorrect "as church" guff!
"We just disagree---our focus as church should be on the great gift of the Eucharist that is true no matter how the church is decorated. Who cares if we have Eucharist present" I said I do care if the Eucharist is in a 1960's hotel foyer! Catholic in name only! Also why do I notice nothing but Irish surnames? The problems in Ireland were from ideas shipped back from the USA!

Peterman said...

"-our focus as church should be on the great gift of the Eucharist that is true no matter how the church is decorated. Who cares if we have Eucharist present"

Time to get out the pitchforks and the torches.

Sixupman said...

BTW: Enlarged photo of renovated building [Church?], left hand side, circular structure do I espy a total walk-in immersion Baptismal pool with covers on?

Peterman said...

Well sure that's a jacuzzi sixupman, we wouldn't want a protestant who wanders in to feel uncomfortable

My Pen Is Huge said...

What an ugly cathedral! In that I mean both versions.

Holly said...

I have never worshipped in the "Cathedral" as it simply left me feeling cold. I always used the small chapel (Our Lady's Chapel) when I had the need to reach out, as I felt like I was really connecting with something in there. And isn't that how you are supposed to feel in a catholic church? There was a very peaceful and spiritual atmosphere in that little chapel. But one day when I visited the chapel, all the statues and pictures of the Madonna in the entrance way (which was previously beautiful and very welcoming) were gone, and it just seemed...stark, like Our Lady had moved out or something. Also, the grouping of the 'Holy Family' inside the chapel where you could light a candle had been broken up and the statues moved back, away from the kneeling bench and candles. All traces of the Madonna had vanished as though she had been evicted. So why is it still called Our Lady's Chapel??? I have asked numerous office staff and church members WHY the madonna icons were removed, where they are now, why the chapel had been "raided" this way, etc. etc. and no one has been able to answer me as to who made the decision and why. Guess it will remain up there with the mystery of the Holy Trinity! The little chapel has been stripped of the wonderful character and atmosphere it previously had and it's impossible to feel 'connected' while there any more. I honestly cannot stand the chauvinistic attitude that is St. Judes. What are they thinking? And as for this renovation? Horrible.

Vince said...

As soon as I read the words, ”Effectively serve the requirements of contemporary worship,” I knew that it would be a horror. Perhaps the Bishop thinks that this remodeling will be his link to immortality? I think not. The monies were wasted to feed myopic vanity.

William Guisto said...

The difficulty with renovating a pre-Vatican II church is that the old church was not designed for the altar to be facing the people. So since the renovations maintain the same area, they are left with a lot of empty space around the altar, leaving a look that is too spartan. Most would be better to reduce the size of the sanctuary and add additional pews. I don't find the old design of this particular church any more sacred than the planned renovation. Some statues and sacred art would be helpful.

Pete704

Tom Heid said...

Holly, Please don't feel singled out here as my remark has far more to do with all of the negative posts here (the vast majority)... I was taught that if I had nothing good to say, say nothing at all. Opinions, are like many things in life, everybody has one and some of them stink. The truth & reality with this statement (from the Christian perspective) is, in an overall theological sense, is this: If I'm spending time (any time at all) criticizing anyOne or anyThing in the world around me, then I, am looking in the wrong direction. Let us recall scripture: Remember "wherever two or more gather in my name..."? what about the warnings of Saints Paul, James and Peter about "grumbling", "Grumblers", "scoffers", and "nay sayers"? Have we not also read such warnings in the book of Proverbs? I realize full well that by writing this post I may too be accused of grumbling or being negative, but the intent of my point here is one of a spiritual nature, regarding my own salvation as well as my hopes for the salvation of others (as many of them as possible) and NOT the opinions of others, nor their idea(s) of art, architecture... nor anything else of this physical world we (presently) live in... because, as scripture says, ALL of it is "rubbish" and "vanity", ALL of it is worthless and will pass... just like the crumbling sanctuary in need of repair...
... If I must suffer because my church sanctuary is SO ugly, then I shall suffer in silence, offering it up (as a small sacrifice) to my Father, while remembering the One TRUE Sacrifice...
... and I, regardless of my present physical surroundings, and in spite of my own willful, selfish, petty and yes.. in spite of my own Sinful self... I shall find peace, beauty, joy and Love... because I will find precisely what I was seeking, God.
... "I have learned to be content in all circumstances..."