Retablo Paintings in Houston

As the Archdiocese of Houston reports, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Houston has installed retablo paintings of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Venerable Antonio Margil, O.F.M, St. Joseph, and the Virgin Mary as part of the renovation of the parish sanctuary, which began in 2015.texas_catholic_herald_houston_st_elizabeth_altar_7


  1. I agree with Todd.

    The colorful angels interested me the most. Their form is sort of simple with clean lines, and it looks as though they can arc and dip and curve as well as hover. Not knowing anything about retablo art, I relied on Google to pull together some images to compare. Based on the particular collection that came up, it doesn’t seem that angels figure especially prominently.

  2. I agree with Todd. Looks more like an Anglican altar than Roman. While in office, Pope Benedict had the same arrangement on any altar he used whether in Rome or on a trip somewhere. We have a church here (St Elizabeth Ann Seaton, Keller, TX) where the former pastor was an Anglican and he too had “all the trimmings” on the altar.
    What gets me is that the elements and presider gets lost in all of these furnishings. Maybe that’s the idea behind this…I’m not sure.
    How many crucifixes do we need in a church anyway? I think one is enough just like Christ’s sacrifice was “once and for all” quoting Scripture.

  3. Cluttering the mensa of the altar with costly doodads blocking the view of the priest is not an Anglican custom. (Now what might be placed on the retable is another story . . .)

  4. As Peter Anson illustrates in his book, Fashions In Church Furnishings, Anglican/ Episcopal altars offer much variety.

    For me the quintessential Anglican altar is the simple communion table that I encountered at Trinity, Newport, way back in 1962. Two candle sticks were on the mensa while a large Celtic cross was behind on a ledge or a sort of gradine. Since then the candlesticks have been added to the ledge, a slender cross replaced the Celtic and the Holy table has been moved forward for versus populum celebration.

    An elegant altar rail with lovely cushions enclosed the sanctuary.

    It is still the most enchanting house of worship I’ve ever entered, but I must admit that I do admire Addleshaw’s works.

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