Before and After: Church of St. Dominic in Brick, New Jersey

Our "Before and After" series can range from projects which constitute small but impactful restorations/renovations to those which represent significant and substantial improvements to the fabric of the church. Today's instalment features the latter and comes within the context of St. Dominic's Church in Brick, New Jersey. 

The 'before' represents a very typical 'pre-fab' church of the mid-20th century in North America. A time when, due to the post-war baby boom and immigration also coming as a result of the Second World War, Catholicism in North America was growing to an extent that it couldn't easily keep up, so many quick (but uninspiring) churches were resurrected, much like what also happened in the domain of housing during this same period.  Boxy, rather functionalist architecture. St. Dominic's was no different:


Fast forward to the present however and the parish decided to up it's proverbial game. Rather than merely working within the existing confines of plain brick walls and a blocky, geometric sanctuary space, they decided to get more innovative and completely redesign the sanctuary space, bringing in some curvilinear aspects and also introducing some colour. What's more, they also took to installing a set of traditional altars with reredoses in the gothic style.  An altar rail was also utilized as well as a beautiful pulpit style ambo. 

A closer look:

One will also take note of the additional colour and pattern that was also added to the space, both on the arch which frames the sanctuary, as well as in the spaces found behind the various altars in the sanctuary. The net result is that all of these elements, from the painted works to the details found on the various altars, has totally transformed the church. 

Do you like Liturgical Arts Journal's original content? You can help support LAJ in its mission and vision to promote beauty in Catholic worship either by: 

You choose the amount! Your support makes all the difference.

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.