Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Fairmount Hills, Antipolo, Rizal
Structural Engineer: Carlos M. Villaraza

Photo by Ivan Rosal

Photo by Ivan Rosal

Photo by Ivan Rosal

Photo by Ivan Rosal

Photo by Ivan Rosal
Dedication Day, Friday, November 30, 2012

Installation of cross, December 30, 2011

May 18, 2012

The design draws inspiration from the name Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the events in Fatima that brought it to world consciousness.

A document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called “The Message of Fatima”, can be found on the Vatican website at the following link:

From the Introduction:
“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of
history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel.”

The basic diagram of our church is a space that supports a cross.  More precisely, the structural members that support the cross also support the roof that defines the interior space, like the mantle of Mary sheltering her children.  The series of hexagonal roofs ascend in decreasing size, creating a profile that harmonizes the structure with the hills of Antipolo.  At the top of the roof is a skylight, through
which one sees the base of the cross.

The center of the skylight shifts from the center of the floor.  The circular platform at the base of the cross partially protects the skylight, but lets a measure of sunlight stream in.  The journey of that stream of sunlight throughout the day will reflect the passage of time.

The skylight is a sun that we all look at, reminding us that Lucia and the crowds of Fatima were transfixed by the sun.  Beneath the skylight will hang a wooden cross and corpus.

The tabernacle is a sun that transfixes us.  It is the only object in the sanctuary that rises above the low horizontal wall that borders the space.  The backdrop of the tabernacle is clear glass, not stained glass, allowing us to see the forest behind the church.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary reminds us to pray the Rosary every day.  Part of the landscaping will be a path with steps and landings that simulate the beads of a rosary.

The architecture of a church is the orchestration of form and space to lead us to prayer and worship.  It aims to be an expression of grace, or at least of our yearning for it.  Historical events - the miracles we read about, the stories we hear - are symbols of the more quiet and personal miracles that can take place in our daily lives, bringing us peace, giving us joy, and reminding us of the immense love of God.