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George Weigel Calls TAC’s California Chapel “Most Important U.S. Catholic Building Yet Erected in the 21st Century”

Posted: March 4, 2020

Writing in First Things, George Weigel — biographer of Pope Saint John Paul II and a distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center — laments the current state of architecture, while praising a building which, he says, represents a hopeful countertrend. That building? Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel on the California campus of Thomas Aquinas College:

“The modernist curse afflicted Catholic church architecture in the U.S. for a while, but that unhappy period is now passing. Marcel Breuer’s Brutalist-inspired abbey church at St. John’s in Minnesota was often considered the most important U.S. Catholic building of the mid-20th century. Compare it to Duncan Stroik’s chapel at Thomas Aquinas College in California, which I’d suggest is the most important U.S. Catholic building yet erected in the 21st century. Stroik, not Breuer, is the future, because the TAC chapel’s classicism and decorative beauty call us out of ourselves and into the Kingdom; the Breuer church depresses the spirit.”

More than a decade after its completion, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel continues to be a blessing to Thomas Aquinas College and the Church at large. The College remains grateful as ever to the two men most responsible for its design: Mr. Stroik (the building’s architect) and the College’s late president, Dr. Thomas E. Dillon, whom Mr. Stroik once dubbed the building’s “visionary patron.” March 7 will mark the 11th anniversary of the Chapel’s dedication, and April 15 the 11th anniversary of Dr. Dillon’s tragic death. In gratitude, please remember to keep him in your prayers.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, pray for us!