Sunday, December 7, 2008


One of the exceptions to my general distrust of colleges is St. Mary's Academy and College (SMAC) in St. Mary's, Kansas. The K-12 academy has an enrollment of about 680 students, and the college enrollment numbers about 50. SMAC has the traditional Mass--with all the bells, incense, and processions--the parish life reflecting the social reign of Christ the King, and it is raising money to build what I think is the most fabulous new Catholic church in the country: Here's a summary of the project from the church and architecture firm's websites:

Designed to replace the historic Immaculata Chapel Ruins, this entirely new Church will be built at the very heart of the SMAC campus. It’s Gothic architecture embraces and extends the Church’s architectural heritage. The Church is situated within the campus such that it forms the focus of each of the surrounding schools while presenting all the Academy and College to the town of Saint Mary’s and the broader, surrounding countryside. This design was developed in the context of a larger master-planning effort that addresses the entire campus. Future and current buildings are all organized with respect to the New Church.

New Church – 24,000sq. ft.

Seats 1,300
Main Chapel Seating - 1302

Spire Height - 284 ft.

Nave (Interior) Height - 90 ft.

Square Feet - 27,000

Altars - 9

Crypt Chapel Seating - 418

Architect - McCrery Architects, Wash. DC

Confessionals - 8

Those are building specs to gladden the heart of every Catholic. Look at the gorgeous renderings of the site plans and elevations. I especially like the one labeled "Looking East". It is one of the views from the quad where the academy students play every day.

No comments: