Papal Altar: Designed by Former Table Legs Online Intern


Papal Altar

Papal Altar being installed the day before Pope Francis visits Washington D.C. Designed, in part, by former intern Joseph Taylor.[/caption] As you have probably heard, Pope Francis, the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, is coming to visit the United States this week. As an internationally admired man, this is causing quite a sensation, and his visits to Washington, New York, and Philadelphia are being met with enormous fanfare. Here at TableLegsOnline, we are thrilled to have a personal connection to all this excitement.

Former Intern Joeseph Taylor. From the  Catholic Review

Our former intern, Joe Taylor, along with his teammates Ariadne Cerritelli, and Matthew Hoffman, designed the papal altar and some of the furnishings that are going to be used at the outdoor canonization mass for Junipero Serra at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday. It's kind of a big deal. Joe has come a long way, but we are confident that the countless hours he logged here at TableLegsOnline inputting data and categorizing table legs contributed to his inspiration. 

A student in The Catholic University of America's School of Architecture and Planning in Washington, D.C., Joe was a member of one of 18 teams that submitted entries in the competition to design the altar, ambo, and chair that Pope Francis will use in this historical mass (the first ecclesiastical event ever on U.S. soil). Because the winning design will permanently reside at the Basilica after the mass, Joe and his team had to take the architectural and design features of the Basilica into consideration.

The first-place design features arches that mimic the architecture of the Romanesque-Byzantine style Basilica. The chair designed for the Pope features a simple high arch "designed to bring focus not on itself, but on the Vicar of Christ himself who will preach from it," the team stated in their concept. Members of the winning design team include architecture students Ariadne Cerritelli (Bethesda, Md.), Matthew Hoffman (Pittsburgh), and Joseph Taylor (Eldersburg, Md.).[/caption] 

In a September 14 article published in the Catholic Review, Joe explained their approach. "Our major challenge was to come up with something for a basilica that is very ornately designed and that's furnished with mosaics and expensive materials," Taylor explained, "while balancing that with the fact we were also designing for a pope who is a very simple guy." 

From the  Washington Post

This papal chair was designed by three architecture students at the Catholic University of America. It will be used by the pope on Wednesday at the outdoor Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (Catholic University)[/caption] 

Their altar features three arches that mimic existing elements in the Basilica and represent the Holy Trinity, as well as four columns signifying the four vows taken by Jesuits. The papal chair features one simple high arch intended to keep the focus on Pope Francis and contains a hand-carved rendering of Poe Francis' papal coat of arms. The ambo, which is the lectern, is also simple and contains complementary design features.

A detail in the papal chair: A coat of arms carved into the papal chair by Lawrence Wroten, a parishioner of St. Peter the Apostle in Libertytown. ( Catholic Review) 

We are so proud of Joe and his team. Although he may not have incorporated table legs into his winning design (though we are sure he considered it), we'll do the right thing and forgive our former intern for this oversight. Check out this video explaining their design.

  By Bridget Gorman Wendling | is a division of KE Hardware Inc. All rights reserved.