Catholic Vitamin N: Narthex

As a lay person in the pews (e. g. before entering deacon formation), from time to time — maybe once a year, a priest would be preaching a homily or doing fund raising and he would use words like ‘narthex’ and ‘nave’ and other such. What would he be talking about? Maybe I should reach for the book: Catholicism for Dummies?”

The answer to these questions is tackled in this week’s Catholic Vitamins.

Our guest on this show is a distinguished expert on the Theology of Church Architecture. His name is Dr. Denis R. McNamara, M.Arch.H., Ph.D. He has a B.A. in the History of Art from Yale University, an M.Arch.H. and Ph.D., in Architectural History from the University of Virginia. His Dissertation was: “Modern and Medieval: Church Architecture in the United States, 1920-1945.

Dr. McNamara is a former instructor at the School of Architecture of the University of Virginia and a graduate advisor chair for the Office of the Dean of Students at the U of A.

He is the author of several books and articles and I must say he was so gracious to come on our show and briefly — high level introduce us to his expertise and approach to the architecture and themes (my word) for approaching church design.

During our interview, Dr. Denis spoke of the special conference to be held shortly at  the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary outside of Chicago. The conference title is THE GLORY OF CATHOLIC ARCHITECTURE, and you can gain more information by visiting the website for the Liturgical Institute:   or by phoning 847-837-4542

You can also reach Professor Denis through the web address.

Now — if the topic of this show is as fascinating to you as it was to us, you can go to youtube and see ten separate introductions to Catholic Church Architecture taught by Denis. The first address (which of course will lead you to subsequent sessions) is found at:

Last but not least, we turned our music attention to a good friend of Catholic Vitamins: BRIAN FLYNN. We played just one song from his album BORN AGAIN. The song we played (and which has given us such nice feedback in the past) is THE ALTAR OF THE LORD. You can find Brian’s music many places, but his website is  Thank you Brian. Please come back and visit us on Catholic Vitamins 🙂



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