Church Madness: Sacred 64 Results

It was a bad week for “St. Joseph” churches.


Church Madness 2016

IntroductionMidwest Bracket (March 17)East Bracket (March 18)South Bracket (March 19)West Bracket (March 20) · Sacred 64 Results (March 28) · Theological 32 (March 29)


The votes are in from the first round! Let’s take a look at some of the results:

Midwest Regional

The matchup between St. James (Lakewood, Ohio) and St. Joseph (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) was decided by one measly vote, with St. James coming out ahead and moving onto the next round.

This surprised me: Rosary Cathedral in Toledo obliterated the University of Nebraska Newman Center, defeating it by 30%. In my mind this was a toss-up; in yours, not so much, I guess.

The tiny Holy Family Shrine (Gretna, Nebraska) held its own and was actually in the lead for most of the week! But, in the end, it was just edged out by the Cathedral of St. Louis.

East Regional

In the only unanimous decision of the entire first round, St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NYC) crushed Our Lady of Fatima Shrine (upstate NY) 100% to 0%. Not a single internet user in the world had it in their heart to cast a pity vote for Our Lady.

St. Mary’s at Boston College was also defeated by a single vote. This is just another crushing loss for the Eagles after their football and basketball teams both failed to win a conference game this year. (“There’s always hockey!”) Our Lady of Victory moves on.

Finally, a toast to St. Joseph Cathedral (Wheeling, WV) which, now that it’s been eliminated, I can say is was my favorite church in the whole tournament. Maybe next year.

South Regional

In a rare defeat for a Gothic-style church, the Chapel of St. Cecilia in Nashville edged out the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston by only two votes.

Its counterpart, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist just up the road in Savannah, crushed the new cathedral of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston. The votes were about 85% to 15%. This seems like a good time to tell you that this cathedral in Houston is based on the design of the original Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham, in Norfolk, England. The American iteration was completed by the inestimable Granda Liturgical Arts.

West Regional

To my surprise, there was only one tie in the first round. It came in the western bracket, in the matchup between the Cathedral of the Madeleine (Salt Lake City) and Mission Santa Barbara (California). I asked my wife to cast the tie-breaking vote, and so the Madeleine advances to the Theological 32.

Finally, I have to admit a mistake. The Chapel of the Transfiguration at Grand Teton National Park is actually an Episcopalian chapel, which I did not realize until just now. Still, it only managed to muster 25% of the vote, which is surprising. If Teddy Roosevelt and John Wayne started an architecture firm together, they would make this building. And then retire, because it is perfect. If it weren’t a church I would feel compelled to light a cigar and drink a scotch there. Look at this place, people!

Art and Liturgy - Chapel of the Transfiguration Episcopalian church in Grand Teton National Park
Photo courtesy of The Enchanted Manor by Barbara Jones (theenchantedmanor.com). Photo is a link to the original article. Please click through to read more about the chapel.

As it turns out, there is a Catholic chapel in Grand Teton National Park as well, and it looks more or less the same. In any case, the idea of the rustic mountain chapel was routed by Holy Ghost in Denver so it doesn’t matter anyway.

The Next Round

Voting for the Theological 32 will begin tomorrow and will stay open through Sunday, April 3.

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One comment

  1. I am very impressed that some people somewhere in USA can spare time to say and do this kind of work on Church art ! I thank God for your faith and dedication. Yes, the whole point of the beautiful art in Churches is to play our emotions before God and lift our hearts to Him the Creator of all the wonders around us and the talented men and women who creatively do the art.

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