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By Sean Fitzpatrick, Crisis Magazine, July 3, 2021
Sean Fitzpatrick is a senior contributor to Crisis and serves on the faculty of Gregory the Great Academy, a Catholic boarding school for boys in Pennsylvania.
Everyone knows that a good man is hard to find, but a good artist is even harder—especially in the Catholic art scene. As a result, what is not hard to find are churches resembling space stations, sentimental plaster saints, and modernist nonrepresentational adornments. Sacred art is in crisis, and on June 22, the world lost one who gave his extraordinary talents in response to this crisis by restoring a classical sensitivity and a traditional Catholic architecture. At the age of 73, artist, architect, and professor emeritus of Notre Dame University, Thomas Gordon Smith passed away in South Bend, Indiana.
Of his many ecclesiastical, public, and residential projects, Professor Smith’s memory is especially enshrined in his designs for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, in Denton, Nebraska, and Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey, in Hulbert, Oklahoma…