Sunday, August 8


A Warm Welcome to Readers of Terry Mattingly's Column

I'd like to offer a warm welcome to readers of Terry Mattingly's syndicated column "On Religion", who was kind enough to cover in his most recent (August 8) piece [which can be found here and here] an article I wrote for this website, "Five Things Any Parish Can Do to Improve Sacred Space," which can be read below. It also appeared in the more scholarly context at The New Liturgical Movement, where I am the architectural correspondent, and where I post with greater frequency.

Just to introduce myself, I am a design consultant, church furnishing designer, and professional illustrator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a frequenly published writer and lecturer on liturgical matters. Some examples of my built work and my designs can be found at my website, Matthew Alderman Studios. I also sell prints of my illustration work. I am presently involved in the design of furnishings for a parish renovation and classical/traditional design consulting on a larger construction project, while proposals for my services under consideration by several local, out-of-state and international clients. I welcome inquiries about my services via email at You can also find my business on Facebook and my work on

If you are interested in my thoughts on liturgical design beyond what Terry was able to include in his column, you might enjoy reading this scholarly article on church design I wrote for the journal Antiphon: A Journal of Liturgical Renewal last year, which was based on a lecture I gave at the national Society for Catholic Liturgy conference some years ago.

I'd like to expand on a comment I made to Terry when he interviewed me last week, regarding statuary in churches, simply because there's only so much one can fit into a column. I think the inclusion or addition of traditional statuary to newer churches is an important part of any renovation. But it needs to be placed in the interior with care and with an eye towards the bigger picture, and, while they should not be crudely modernistic, should at least be designed in such a way to find common ground with the architectural language of the interior. Old-style catalog statuary, unless it is of a very high quality, should be avoided. They should reinforce the primacy of altar and tabernacle, and also should not simply be plopped down in some convenient corner without a lot of thought.

I'd like to thank Terry for his sensitive and thoughtful and very sympathetic treatment of the subject of renovations and my ideas about the matter of renovations, and hope you will enjoy your visit to the site. Have a look round, poke into the archives, and don't forget to go over to, too!

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