Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Little Church Madness!

First off, since it is Easter Wednesday night as I type this, happy Easter! Today's post is a brief one, but unique in the grand scheme of my blog posts to date. Over the month of March and coinciding with college basketball's March Madness playoff tournament, I had the opportunity to contribute photos to a fun tournament, known as Church Madness.

The nave and spectacular high altar at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, St. Louis, Missouri.
2017 Church Madness Winner. Photo taken in September 2013.

Church Madness is a tournament of unique merit. It pits 64 of the most beautiful churches in the United States in a vote-based tournament to select the "Most Beautiful Church in America." Hosted by Patrick Murray of the superb Art & Liturgy blog, his effort does a phenomenal job of sharing the beauty of sacred places across the United States with his readers. What's more? Patrick works for Granada Liturgical Arts who designs and produces a lot of materials that make churches physically beautiful, from tabernacles to priestly vestments. Check out Patrick's blog and Granada!

An oldie, but a goodie: Basilica of the Assumption, Baltimore, Maryland.
Oldest cathedral in the United States. Photo taken in December 2010.

How did I get involved in the Madness? As you may know, Roamin' Catholic Churches posts pretty regularly on Instagram (check out the side bar to the right, or see this link for some of these photos: Through this, I was able to connect with Patrick and round up some of the photos I've take in the past few years to contribute to the tournament.

Extraordinary form, extraordinary sanctuary: St. Stanislaus Oratory, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Photo taken in September 2016.

In a couple cases this winter, I was able to hit the road and visit a couple churches to take photos to offer to Church Madness. As time allows, I have enough photos from two Church Madness participants to do specialized posts just to focus on them.

St. John Catholic Newman Center, Champaign, Illinois

This baldacchino top only begins to articulate the beauty found in Champaign, Illinois.
Photo taken in February 2017.

St. John the Evangelist, Indianapolis, Indiana

Church and state: This neo-Gothic hunk of a church is only three blocks from Indiana's state capitol.
Photo taken in February 2017.

Many thanks go to Tyler Strom and Megan Fish for their tips, and in Megan's case, tour to help facilitate my visits and photo-taking!

You can check out the rest of my photos used for Church Madness on Flickr through the slideshow below.

Church Madness 2017

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