Architect Michael Tamara's original goal was to study new Catholic churches built using classic designs and symbolism, as opposed to all of those modernist sanctuaries offering what some critics call the "Our Lady of Pizza Hut" style.
The first church that caught his eye, 15 years ago, was the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Ala., an ornate sanctuary rich in majestic marble and gold details that was becoming familiar to viewers of Eternal Word Television Network. This church, he thought, was built decades after the Second Vatican Council?
Tamara began gathering materials about other new churches in neo-Gothic, Romanesque or other classic styles. Eventually he spotted a surprising pattern.
That first church was in Alabama, and then he found others in Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma, several in South Carolina and quite a few in Virginia. Oh, and there was a stunning new monastery -- in Alabama.