Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Church of St. John's Abbey, Collegeville: Before

Many will doubtless be familiar with St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota including its present, very 'industrial' abbey church architecture.

However what many of you may not be so familiar with is the former abbey church which was an absolute jewel, showing forth some of the very best fruits of the 20th century Liturgical Movement in my estimation.

Here is an image of the former sanctuary which one of our readers sent in:

(Here is an angled view which better shows the ciborium:)

The paintings you see behind the altar and ciborium are by an artist of the Beuronese school, Br. Clement Frischauf, OSB (1869-1944). As the historical abbey church was converted into a "great hall", whatever else has been lost, at very least some of Frischauf's work remains to be seen yet today:

One can well imagine how magnificent this abbey church would have been, and how well suited and dignified a setting it was for the solemn liturgical rites of the Church.

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