Friday, July 2, 2010

The Philadelphia Church Project's Bottom 10: #5


Now we get to the fun part. The bottom five--the worst of the worst. Which churches will have the inglorious honor of appearing on this list?

To answer, let's start with a neighborhood that succeeds in almost every area except the one that counts: church architecture. I'm speaking, of course, about Chestnut Hill.

#5: Our Mother of Consolation

Why They're Here:

Unimpressive size and bland ornamentation (or none at all). Our Mother of Consolation (OMC) is pretty much a failure on all architecture levels. Hard to believe this is actually six years younger than Assumption BVM, no?

Why They're Not Lower:

They've got cojones. The church is unimpressive by design; it was built that way to fool the neighbors, who didn't want a Roman Catholic church as a neighbor. The Project appreciates the audacity of the tactic, and we reward them by not making them #1. But there's really no way we can leave it off the list.

4 comments:

  1. I have never understood why this place gets such a high regular attendance while its much grander parish neighbor Holy Cross struggles to stay afloat.

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  2. People often choose parishes based on ecclesiastical reasons--style of the service, parish staff, etc.--not architectural ones. I don't necessarily blame them, but the result is that many stunning churches struggle or go under, while less-impressive ones prosper.

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  3. So many beautiful churches have gone under....Transfiguration, Assumption, Saint Aloysius in South Philadelphia (closed in 1999), Saint Stephen's, Saint Raphael's, Saint Bonaventure.....

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  4. Our Mother of Consolation is " run" by the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales.
    Maybe that's the reason it does so well???
    Non diocesan clergy ????
    In spite of the building .. ....
    Hummmm ???? could it be a sign ????

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