St. Paul Roman Catholic Parish

330 W Coral Gables Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85023

About Our Church


 

Welcome to the heart of St. Paul's Faith Community, our Church. We hope that the following descriptions offered by the Architects and Artists of the Church will enhance your understanding and appreciation of this worship space where we, as God's people, gather to share our love and friendship with one another and express our Faith and Praise of God. Whether you come here to visit or to stay with us, may you always find God's Peace in this Community and in your hearts.

 

Reflections From The Architects David Jones And Gregory Brown

 

The primary consideration was given to creating exterior spaces which would provide for outdoor gatherings while uniting the various buildings into a unifying whole.

 

The Church takes shape around its congregation, arranged in a radial seating pattern to enhance the feeling of community and minimize the distance from the Sanctuary. A Chapel is located at the front of the main worship area for daily Mass. Simple yet bold roof forms begin low to emphasize the human scale and then rise in a series of steps to a high gabled roof over the central aisle. Vertical breaks in the roof flood the interior with natural daylight and were used to impart a strong axial geometry into the shape of the interior space. Lighting is integrated into the beams to allow the ceilings to remain clean and uncluttered while using the ceiling surfaces to reflect an indirect and even light. The axis is further reinforced by the large stained glass window over the Sanctuary and, at the opposite end of the axis, the Baptistery which is located near the entry to symbolize its function as entry into the Faith.

 

The interior materials and colors were chosen to complement the light and open feeling and to create a backdrop for the stained glass and furnishings. Natural materials: Honduras Mahogany, Polished Granite and Copper are used through out the building interior and in the furnishings which were custom designed to complement and reinforce a unifying theme.

 

Reflections from the Artist Maureen McGuire Stained Glass windows and Sculptures

 

The windows, Tabernacle and the ceramic sculptures represent the best example to date of my commitment to produce artwork that is truly integrated into the architecture.

 

The large Sanctuary window captures that flash in time when Saul of Tarsus, the Pharisean persecutor of Christians was struck blind from his horse by a vision of the Risen Christ. The window in the Baptistery shows us the moment of Saul's Baptism, when he regained his sight and took the name Paul.

 

The window in the Chapel shows various representations of Paul's journeys in which, with God's grace, he built the bridge between Judaism and Christianity, which is his greatest gift to the world. One should read of his extraordinary life to fully understand these symbolic episodes. (From left to right IN THE CHAPEL)

 

1.  Escape from Damascus in a basket. 2. Founding the Church at Antioch. 3. His condemnation of the idols of Diana in Greece. 4. His preaching and writing. 5. The hardships he had. 6. His arrest. 7. He is martyred.

 

The glass is mouth-blown antique glass imported from Germany. Some of the colors were made especially for this project alone. The windows are constructed in exactly the same way as the windows on the ancient Cathedrals of Europe.

 

Reflections from the Artist Suzanne Young The Stations of the Cross in the Chapel

 

For the most part I centered in on the figure of Jesus in the depictions, focusing on Him alone. The design of the Chapel wall was especially created by the architect to have the twelfth station at the highest point of the Stations. The pieces of the Stations are recessed into the wall to create a feeling that they were carved out of the stone itself. The Stations were done section by section and then cut in smaller pieces to give the appearance in the clay of the same linear design as the Church building itself. The coloration of the Stations works with the tones of the Chapel so that they neither stand out nor disappear into the wall. The Stations are to be a helpful visual aid in recalling Christ's painful journey to Calvary and they should remind us to be more accountable to modern day injustices that we should be aware of as Christians.

 

Reflections from the Artist Michael Myers The Cross, Madonna and Bronze of St. Paul

 

I want to show the Spirit of God that is found deep in each of us as it then shines forth through our human substance. I want my work to express our hopes and dreams, our prayers and strivings. Religious expression has been central with this aspect of art throughout the eons, and the Catholic Church has been the main patron of the arts in this endeavor for the Western World. The sculptures I executed are traditional in nature but with a Southwest flavor all their own. The sculptures are a one-of-a-kind hand modeled material created especially for St. Paul's Church. The ceramics were stained then fired to 2200 degrees. The figure of Christ on the Cross is envisioned as being beyond death. The Madonna is shown as the most loving of mothers and St. Paul is seen as All People in the midst of the moment of conversion.

 

We hope that you will always find peace in the beautiful House of God. We, as you may have guessed, are very proud of our Church building, but most of all we trust that we may all realize that Church is not made of stone and concrete but of flesh and blood; in other words, People who are called by God to Know, Love and Serve Him and one another. As you leave this Holy Place, may you too be Church to those you meet along the road that leads to our eternal home in God's Kingdom.

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