There were three principal influences for the design of the Sanctuary:
The Basilica of the Transfiguration atop Mount Tabor in the Holy Land
This Basilica, designed in 1924 by the Franciscan Father Antonio Barluzzi (1884-1960), has a glowing, golden quality of stone and marble, reflecting the glory of the Transfigured Christ.
The Columns and Arches
Our giant columns and arches in the Sanctuary were a structural and aesthetic solution to the roofing challenges posed when the church was doubled in size in 1999. Specifically, the column directly behind the Priest’s Chair contains two enormous steel beams: one from the original 1986 church structure on the eastern half, and another from the new construction in 1999 on the western half.
The columns and arches were employed by the need to encase these two beams, and they are now reflected in the design of both Altars, as well as the two arched niches holding the statues of Mary and Joseph.
A Sanctuary to Capture a Child’s Eye and Imagination
Even as many Catholic churches were moving away from statuary and vivid decoration, children’s museums recognized that the senses of sight, touch, and smell were important for children. One of our principal donors commented, “My five children learned to pray by looking at the Altar and the other elements in the Sanctuary.”