Church Madness: National Churchpionship

This week, A.L. captured the world’s attention. Not Amoris Laetitia … Art & Liturgy! At long last, we come to the ultimate showdown: the National Churchpionship.

Church Madness 2016

IntroductionMidwest Bracket (March 17)East Bracket (March 18)South Bracket (March 19)West Bracket (March 20) · Sacred 64 Results (March 28) · Theological 32 (March 29) · Stunning 16 (April 4)Ecclesiastical 8 (April 8)Ferial 4 (April 11) · National Churchpionship (April 14) • “One Shining Moment” (April 17)

In the Ferial Four, voters squarely rejected the D.C. establishment, as the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception earned a measly 15% of the vote. St. John Cantius brings their incredible get-out-the-vote operation into the final.

On the other side, Salt Lake City’s Cathedral of the Madeleine came back from an early deficit to win. The tense contest was only separated by a handful of votes until the very end, when a late push locked it up for the Beehive State.

AL 2016 CM BRACKET Natl Churchpionship

It’s a Chicago vs. Salt Lake City matchup in the finals, and we all know how that turned out last time.

Art and Liturgy Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Utah Jazz NBA Finals
Sorry Utahns, I had to.

The stakes have never been higher! Who is the most beautiful church in America? Vote now! Polls close on Saturday night, April 16, and the National Churchpion will be announced on Sunday morning, April 17!

Optional Voting Soundtrack:

St. John Cantius (Chicago, Ill.)360° panorama  ⚠︎ NOTE: Sound autoplays! But it’s Allegri’s Miserere mei, which is nice ⚠︎

Cathedral of the Madeleine (Salt Lake City, Ut.)360° panorama

10:00 pm Central:  Voting is now closed. Check back tomorrow morning for the final results!


  1. I always feel so blessed whenever I am there! It is so beautiful and inspiring you know God is there!

    • Amen! I totally agree! And what makes the parish even more beautiful are the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. Those priests there are amazing!

      • I completely agree. St. John Cantius is awe-inspiring and the priests and brothers who form the foundation are the backbone of the church. Congratulations and I see the restoration is complete. Bravo!

  2. I am from Michigan and travel often to Chicago. St. John Cantius is the ONLY church that I attend when I’m there. God bless this church as well as the Canons!

  3. Love the art and every single corner of this cathedral is just amazing the inside and outside great art and full of angels.

  4. Don’t we LOVE them all? Esp. Th e churches we’ve been to visit !!
    We LOVE St. JOHN Cantius.
    The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
    Is our National Shrine…. what a Grace!!
    The one in Henceville… thanks to GOD !!
    The others also… so beautiful !

  5. I’m just so sorry I didnt know sooner. I am sending May God bless us and please hear our prayers ~ Amen

  6. They have music playing, which might give them an advantage but if they took the music off then the Cathedral is the most beautiful. There’s no other place like it.

  7. Fr. Frank and the canons has done a wonderful job transforming and giving that church a new look. Bravo and Deo Gracias.

  8. My brother lives in Chicago. My favorite place to visit/ attend Mass is St. John’s!

  9. St John Cantius is a beautiful, vibrant church. Tia Mae, their pipe organ, is phenomenal……

  10. When you walk into a church where the beauty and wonder of the sacred art, liturgy, and music lifts your soul to sense the presence of Our Lord, you know you are in a church built for the worship of God. I believe that Our Lord is present in all of our beautiful churches, but for me St. John Cantius is where my faith grew in strength and love for Our Lord.

  11. Having this contest is fun. Of course in my heart every Cathedral and Church is a winner!

  12. I really hope Cathedral of the Madeleine wins. It is a breathtaking Church and a very important part of the catholic community in Salt Lake City. Either way I invite everyone to come and check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

  13. I love the Cathedral of Madeleiline, it’s peaceful. Makes you feel like God presence is there listening to you.

  14. Art and Liturgy should have posted a better picture of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, same quality, size and angle as St John Cantius!

    • Hey Giancarlo, thanks for the comment! I posted the best picture of the Madeleine that was available for public use. Thus, the links to the 360° panoramic views. If you have better photos I can use, feel free to send them my way! Thanks again for reading!


  16. When I visit my son and his dear wife and children I look forward to attending their church, Saint John Cantius with them. It is a beautiful warm welcoming church and I experience such peace there.

  17. I think someone should nominate the Cathedral over by Carmel, which is the old Mission Church built by the Spanish padres. I believe St. Junipero Serra is buried there. Also a monk who apparently floated above the ground when he was praying, which attracted strong interest from the Native American neophytes.

  18. Looked at both panorama videos. Like them both BUT the church in Salt Lake City has been converted to the ‘new’ liturgical layout. As a traditionalist, I prefer the altar on the east wall. This was always the layout before Vat II. The music at Cantius has always been SUPERB. Anyone who has visited St. John’s during the Easter Tridium will agree. In the last 25 years St. John’s has been brought back from dereliction to what it is today. Bravo!!

  19. Thanks for the opportunity to acknowledge a great contest. I’m sure that St. John Cantius will be nominated next year.

    • Hey, thank YOU for participating! I don’t know about you, but I had a blast doing this. St. John Cantius and the other “Ferial Four” earned auto-entries for next year, so we will see if they can repeat!

  20. I am wondering what the final result was. Or do i, like the final four, have to tune in to a different station?

  21. As a visitor to Chicago, I attended Mass at St. John Cantius for the first time several weeks ago. The church architecture is amazing, but even more so are the priests who take time to hear confessions, the Tridentine Latin Mass done with the solemnity the Mass deserves and often is missing in many Catholic churches, and the music. It was a spiritual experience beyond compare.

    Patrick, thank you for doing this project. It highlights so many of our beautiful Catholic churches. All are worthy of being showcased.

    (I am still wondering how St. John the Divine was in the contest. I thought it was Protestant Episcopalian.)

    • Good call, Hugh…I’ll own this one. St. John the Divine is indeed the Episcopalian cathedral in New York. I didn’t research closely enough! Sorry for the mistake, and thanks for reading!

  22. Sounds like the Church Madness was a big success. Congrats.

    You ought to visit France, err, New Orleans – 500 years of Creole culture, great churches, great food, and many festivals -activities. Louisiana – the territory was founded in 1682, when de La Salle “discovered” the mouth of the Mississippi River. La Nouvelle Orleans was founded in 1718 and became the territorial capital in 1722. As said previously St Louis Cathedral is the oldest continual use Catholic cathedral in what is now the United States.

    Ahem, some of us still contest the legality and validity of the purchase agreement “treaty”. (Presidents don’t have authority to buy lands under the constitution. The US never lived up to the agreed terms of the “treaty”, especially with regards to the granting citizenship to French Louisiana’s territorial citizens and residents.). But that’s another story.

    All the best.

Comments are closed.