The design successfully fulfills the original basic program as stated by the Bishop, requiring its primary function to serve the Catholic Community's spiritual needs as a church, while also adapting flexibly to educational and various secular activities.

The building design also recognizes a responsibility to relate visually to the broad community and to enhance its environment.  The broad concrete and plaster wall masses, contrasted with red tile roof and terra cotta accents, provide an appearance of simple strength, permanence, and dignity becoming a church.

The nave area is a large sculptured space providing a broad vista culminating and focusing on the sanctuary.  All of its basic 500 seats are within 7 rows of the altar, providing visual and acoustical excellence, and to all, present an intimate sense of participation in the liturgies.

Of particular interest is the unique "dove" tabernacle specially designed by Aaron Green as a large medallion which may electronically be lowered or raised out of sight into the canopy above.  The tabernacle medallion was executed in bright brass with multi-colored infills of vitreoous enamel.  The pivoting wings of the dove open for access to the tabernacle doors.  The pastor had requested that the tabernacle be a dove reminiscent of early historical liturgical artworks. A triangular shaped multi-hued stained glass "clerestory" window projects iridescent colors on the tabernacle as the sun moves overhead.

In addition to the nave, the elevated perimeter ancillary area surrounding can augment the church seating to a total capacity of 800.  Through folding partitions, six separate rooms can be created for use as CCD Classrooms or community meeting rooms.  Served by a separate outside entrance, the CCD office, Fireside Room, Kitchen and Library can function on its own schedule.

The landscaping is visually brought into the Church with small gardens at the exterior access points, one of which contains the baptistry with its "living water" font.  A recessed stone mosaic design in the floor surrounding the cast concrete font base further provides liturgical significance related to life's beginning.

Aaron G. Green Associates, Inc.
5 Third Street Suite 224
San Francisco, CA 94103
415 777.0530 voice
415 777.1014 fax

St. Monica
Catholic Church

Moraga, California

Catholic Diocese of Oakland