Tuesday afternoon Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, and other dignitaries were on hand to publicly unveil the design for the altar Pope Francis will use at his outdoor Mass on Sept. 23 in Washington, D.C.
A jury selected designs for the altar furnishings to be used at the Mass the pope will celebrate on the east steps of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, overlooking the Catholic University Mall. The altar, ambo, and chair were designed as part of a competition at Catholic University’s School of Architecture and Planning sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington and the Basilica.
A six-member jury composed of representatives from the archdiocese, Basilica, and Catholic University selected the first-, second-, and third-place winners as well as four honorable mentions.
In addition to Cardinal Wuerl, the public announcement of the winning design at CUA’s School of Architecture and Planning featured University President John Garvey; Monsignor Walter Rossi, rector of the Basilica; Bishop Barry Knestout, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chair of the jury; and Randall Ott, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning.
The first-place design features arches that mimic the architecture of the Romanesque-Byzantine style Basilica. The chair designed for the Pope features a simple high arch “designed to bring focus not on itself, but on the Vicar of Christ himself who will preach from it,” the team stated in their concept. Members of the winning design team include architecture students Ariadne Cerritelli (Bethesda, Md.), Matthew Hoffman (Pittsburgh), and Joseph Taylor (Eldersburg, Md.).
“As we make plans for Pope Francis’s visit here to Washington this September and the Mass he will be celebrating on the east portico of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, it is a joy to be here today as we announce the winning design for the furnishings that will be used at that Mass,” said Cardinal Wuerl. ”The creativity, beauty, and thought that went into each of the submitted designs is a visible sign of God’s grace at work among us in a unique way. We look forward to our Holy Father’s visit here as a time to be confirmed more fully as missionary disciples of our Lord,” he said. read more...