Friday, February 5, 2016

The Painted Church of Lindsay, Texas

About an hour and a half north of Dallas sits St. Peter Catholic Church of Lindsay, Texas. It is one of the famous "painted churches" of Texas, a tradition thought up by German and Czech immigrants who wanted to lavishly decorate their parishes on a budget. Most of these churches can be found between Austin and Houston, but St. Peter's is very much in the opposite direction, closer to the Oklahoma border.

From the photos I've seen of the other painted churches, St. Peter's seems to be uniquely patterned with geometric shapes, and since its founding the parish has been able to afford a decent set of stained glass windows to add to the decor. The current building dates back to 1918 after it was rebuilt from a tornado strike.

St. Peter's was brought to Mr. Grump's attention when a priest wandered in to a cigar shop being frequented by His Traddiness and yours truly. Fr. Smokey was kind enough to regale us with tales and photographs of a few beautiful Texas churches. I decided to devote a Sunday morning for the road trip. A few of my own photos are below.

Parking lot entrance. St. Peregrine sits to the right. The church is easily the largest structure in the whole town.
The main altar. Everything behind the altar (window excluded) is painted.
A wider view of the sanctuary, including the pulpit and abat-voix.
Mary's altar. At the far right, you can see a cylindrical speaker painted to match the wall.
A rather strange interpretation of St. Joseph and the Christ Child.
A bit of stained glass in the Marian altar corner.
One of the colorful ceiling patterns.
A side aisle.
A view of the organ and choir loft. The choir was quite good.
Above the sanctuary.
The small but cozy baptistery.
One of the Stations of the Cross.
Part of a series of scenes from the life of St. Benedict.
A view from the rear.
Bell tower and front entrance.
There's plenty more to see that I haven't included. It's amazing what a farming community can put together when it has a mind to, and it makes you wonder why us city folks put up with such bad architecture in our parishes.


  1. Reminds me of a more colourful version of Holy Cross church here in Bedminster, Bristol.

  2. " makes you wonder why us city folks put up with such bad architecture in our parishes."

    As H.J.A. Sire put it, "Modernists shrink from beauty like a vampire from holy water." The ugliness of their churches is a feature, not a bug; just as the remarkable beauty beauty of St. Peter's in Lindsay is a feature, not happenstance.

    Quite a jewel you found there. Thanks for the photos.

  3. And... the website of the church has a link to the Divine Office (Pauline, of course). Someone has the right idea.

  4. Why is the st. Joseph statue strange to you?

    Btw. the artwork seems to imitate Beuron school.

    P.S. - this is my cathedral.

    1. I believe because it is the young St. Joseph being depicted. The Eastern churches always believed in an old St. Joseph, notwithstanding some rather vocal proponents of the young St. Joseph (like the Oblates of St. Joseph).

    2. It looks to me more like the "middle-aged" St Joseph. The face looks considerably older and the hair appears grey.

    3. I was more concerned by the bizarre Christ Child that St. Joseph is holding. He appears to have bags under his eyes!

      That cathedral looks stunning.

    4. Probably a local German/Czech style.

    5. You're right about the eyes. They do look a little weird.

  5. The church reminds me of Westminster Cathedral.

    I love the apse exterior. The style is great. We need more than neo-Gothic & neo-Classical.

  6. I grew up going to church there 3 days every week before school. Many memories about this beautiful church. Many memories also with Muenster'so Sacred Heart Church and Gainesville's St. Mary's Church. Both are near Lindsay.