St. Mary’s Catholic Church
St. Mary’s New Church is designed to meet the needs of the congregation of St. Mary’s while still creating an intimate place to engage with the Lord as well as community. After serving their community in their current building for over 60 years, St. Mary’s Catholic Center decided to expand to accommodate their rapidly growing congregation as well as their surrounding community.
The new church sits across the street from the student center on the south half of the current parking lot. Drawing upon the rich heritage of Catholic church design over centuries past, the building is a traditional cruciform basilica with Byzantine and Romanesque influences. Its prominent location in the rapidly growing and active Northgate district allows the building itself to be used as a means of evangelization, drawing the interest of, and inspiring all who pass by. The bell tower is intended to be a beacon, seen all up and down Church Ave. The intersection of the dome and cube at the center of the church is an ancient form that symbolizes the meeting of Heaven and Earth. A large rose window features prominently above the main entrance.
The interior design of the new church is informed by the three guiding values of the new church campaign: Beauty, Encounter, and Tradition. Beauty has the power to attract, evangelize, and inspire. It gives a foretaste of Heavenly realities here on Earth. Encounter with Christ and with one another is something already so powerful at St. Mary’s, and the new church is intended to elevate and enhance that with an intimate environment. Acoustics is especially important in this regard, to ensure that speech is intelligible, but also to enhance the music and allow the congregation to hear the choir and each other singing. A love of Tradition is common to both Catholics and Aggies, and there is a rich heritage to draw from as the interior is steeped in symbolism and imagery.
*liturgical designer Studio io