Saturday, August 19, 2006

Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity

Thomas Aquinas' renaissance
College building its crown jewel

By John Scheibe,
August 1, 2006

Thomas Dillon started by asking himself this question:

"What kind of church would Father Serra have built if he'd had enough resources?"

Dillon believes that the early California missionary and friar might have commissioned a house of worship like the one now under construction in the hills above Santa Paula.

Scheduled to be completed by fall 2008 at a cost of $21 million, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College is one of the most extraordinary projects to come to Ventura County in a long time, said Ventura architect Larry Rasmussen, who is helping with the project.

The chapel isn't the only new building under construction at the college. Thomas Aquinas, which has called Ventura County home since the late 1970s, also is building a $7 million faculty building next to the chapel. The building will contain offices for faculty and administrators and is scheduled for completion in spring 2007.

From its cruciform floor plan to its long nave, its pillars, arches, vaulted ceiling and marble floors, the chapel exudes a classical feel.

With a capacity to seat some 700 worshippers, the chapel's design draws from numerous architectural styles, including early Christian, Italian Renaissance and California Mission influences.

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