Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Top 10 Reasons to Read the Project

An intriguing idea from Project reader Robert Woodley, of St. Patrick's parish. (Norristown or Rittenhouse? Ah, no matter. Both are nice.)

I've been wanting some kind of guide to the Philadelphia area's Catholic churches since I moved here some 20 years ago. Your taste seems to be pretty solid from what I know of some of the churches on your list. Terrific! Do you have some kind of ranking or top 10 list or must-see list? I'd love to see it if you do. Please keep up the good work.

Our taste is more than solid, in our not-so-humble opinion, but thanks for the kind words.

There are no current top 10 lists of any kind. But believe it or not, I've long had the same idea. I never did one because, since at one time I considered the Project finite, I figured I'd wait until I covered every church I wanted and then do a summary of sorts. Hence, I filed the idea away and went about my business.

But since it looks like the Project will never cover "every" church, and even if we do it would be a long way off, why not resurrect the concept? I'm game if you are. If you have a top-10 list, though, it stands to reason you'd also have to do a bottom-10 list, too.

Look for both of those to come sooner than you think. In the meantime, what would be on your lists? Your choices won't really impact mine, mind you; I'm just curious as to what all of our Projectaholics think.


  1. Ok, so, I bite. This may be difficult for some. I think there may be more disliked churches than liked.
    Here’s part of my list.
    Best Liked,
    St. Justin Martyr (1964-2009)

    Least liked
    St. Philip Neri, Lafayette Hills, PA
    St. Thomas of Villanova
    St. Bede the Venerable
    St. Jude , Chalfont
    St. Joachim’s

  2. Interesting, a lot of suburban choices there. Can't disagree with much of that, although I think St. Thomas is far better than the others on your list. Despite its ornamental problems, there are few churches that can compete with it structurally.

    Do you mean the Frankford St. Joachim's? If so, yes, absolutely--a real pity, since the old church was allegedly stunning.

  3. The newer churches in the 'burbs are horrible.

    You know, the ones the Archdiocese looted the old, closed churches to outfit.

  4. I am a parish member at St. Philip Neri, and even I agree that it isn't a pretty church by any stretch of the smallest imagination (although the stained glass window over the entryway is impressive in afternoon sunlight). The parish itself is pretty vibrant though, with great attendance even in summer months, and the pastor (Msgr. Charles Vance) is wonderful, so even though we could have opted for the prettier St. Matt's in Conshy, I really felt SPN was the better choice for us by far. And so far, I'm glad to have been proved right.

    But the first commenter is correct - such a horrible postmodern Vatican II design. *shudder*