Few Catholics realize just how rich is the history of the Catholic Church in the United States. Nevertheless, great churches still stand in every major city and serve as a testament. Perhaps nowhere in America can one find these stone testimonials more numerous or beautiful than the Windy City. These churches are the subject of a recent picture book titled: Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago.
This visually striking and carefully researched book presents the rich detail of historic and cultural significance of some of Chicago’s most significant churches. Breath-taking, full-color photographs open the doors to more than 60 magnificent churches, stretching to every corner of the city – from St. Francis Xavier in Wilmette and St. Philip Neri on the South Shore to St. Giles in Oak Park and St. Peter in the Loop.
The inspirational designs are by noted architects such as Burnham, McCarthy, Schlacks and Keely. It is a must for those interested in local history, architectural achievement, theological awareness or those who simply desire to glory in the visual beauty of Chicago’s historic churches.
Author Denis R. McNamara, an architectural historian who specializes in American church architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has written and lectured widely on the history and theology of ecclesiastical architecture, and served on the Art and Architecture Commission of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He is currently assistant director and faculty member at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary, and serves as a liturgical design consultant.
Photographer James Morris specializes in architectural and cultural subjects from around the world, working with publishers, magazines and architects, including his recent work in the 2000 book Churches of London (Contemporary Books). His work is exhibited in both Europe and the United States and has been awarded prizes by, among others, Chicago’s Graham Foundation for advanced studies in the fine arts, and the United Kingdom’s Design and Art Directors Guild.
The professional quality of the photographs and printing coupled with the awe-inspiring subject matter covered, make Heavenly City irresistible to those who appreciate beauty. However, paging through such a work should be more than a simple diversion. It should instill pride in America’s Catholic heritage, and inspire action to restore the Church to Her former glory…and well beyond.
9 1/2″ x 13″
Publisher: Liturgy Training Publications