Contact  The Society of sacred art and Architecture, Inc.               






art architecture:
education of an artisan






SETTING DOWN IN WRITING ONE’S LIFE STORY IS A HUMBLING THING TO DO. WE can never live in the past. we always live in the present. the past we know was just different. A different time. different world. a different culture.


Our histories are not just about people, work, projects, and personal relationships, social and cultural experienceS: it is about all of “it”. World events, peace movements, war, music, art, science, engineering, and architecture, all of it.


We cannot possibly understand the times in which we live unless we understand the impact of events and information on our personal histories. We cannot possibly understand the times in which we work unless we understand the impact of science/technology, music, medicine, and literature, AND the role of cultural forces in the events of the world.


I think, what we have with those who came before us: we all have in common, IS what we do not know how things are going to come out. They did not know how things where going to come out any more than we dO.  I think, we should give the past the benefit of our doubts, because in our choices we, like the people of the past, do not know what we decide and do will really come out. Nothing ever has to happen the way it happened. nothing was on a track. nothing was pre-ordained. nothing was guaranteed to be as it is.


“Anything …at any time …Any event of the past…Could have gone differently …Could have been DONE DIFFERENTLY…For any number of different reasons …At almost any point in time.”

Our lives are fluid, they change, they are molded and shaped by events and personal experiences.


We operate in an atmosphere of freedom with decisions to make and do not, really, know how these decisions will turn out for the impact oN ourselves OR ON the lives of others.  There is a great wonder in not knowing of what will happen and how things will eventually come about: a mystery.


There is opportunity to enter into our futures full of confidence and power hidden in our own, personal histories, AND it has to do with Education. We must be grateful to those who taught us. in their faithful performance of their duty to TEACH.


We cannot know who we are Unless we knew who we were, And, how we got to be where we are. Really, we cannot know another person, an individual unless you know what they have been through in their individual life. We cannot be so unappreciative as to forget that if we stop remembering and showing our admiration and respect for high accomplishment: we are in trouble. If we dismiss everything so that THEY’RE can no longer be heroes to learn from, we are really in trouble.


We are going through a very difficult transitions now: social transitions, TRANSITIONS in science, medicine, technology, shifting populations, rising expectations: problems with disease, problems with racial-bigotry, AND, IN this tension this time of testing we can learn.


Through Education we find we are together a people bonded in wisdom, knowledge, and virtue. There is a bond that, I believe, extends beyond race, age, economics, AND DEMOGRAPHICS THERE is a sense of wanting to belong to something greater than US at the base of this is the love of learning.

Robert R. Lackney Architect





 mission | vision               





A group of artisans, authors, architects, sculptors, contemplative painters, students and religious dedicated to the development and expression of Creative Spirituality as a Mystical Language in the restoration of the Sacred Art and Architecture. of the catholic church based upon Pope John Paul’s call


Pope John PAUL’S CALL for

‘ …

“ … Restoration and the appreciation of the value of the Catholic artisan’s gifts in the Church’s expression of its

Sacred Art and Architecture

be recognized …”


The Society offers assistance to artisans, authors, architects, STUDENTS in the liturgical arts, and members of the helping professions through a yearly scholarship program from the sale of its publications and art works.









Robert R. Lackney






Idea Worth Spreading






The Future Past: Present









My toys






My first “toys”, at the age of 4, were discovered while sitting at my corner worktable while drawing squares and circles on white grid papers supplied by my father.

Once discovering the neat little shapes during the “time outs” my father, Andrew, required when i refused to eat the canned corn my mother prepared FOR THE evening supper.


Drawing the  little “crosses” first in the square. Then a "+" placed in the circle. My father told me that these “plus” signs were the hidden “secrets” of the universe.

My father taught me  to inscribe a circle in the square - it was magical! soon I began to capture triangles: tall, short, flat 3-sided shapes that looked as if they were pieces of a “pie”. the circles could be divided into 4, 8, then and 16.

It was too hard to make many more –  not permitted to use a knife to keep the pencil point sharp.


the lessons of my worktable have not been FORGOTTEN: secret squares, ELONGATED rectangles, endless circles, and   triangles of so many shapes my mind filled with wonder.


Soon the counting of whole numbers at the corners of the of the triangle: 3, the squares and rectangles: 4, and as my dad taught the delight of 6 … 8 … 10, the corners of hexagons octagons, AND DODECAHEDRONS, each BECOMING A circle as they expanded their sides.

We used “0” for the circle, which refusing to yield one corner to count! The “0” to 10 became another set of “mysteries” to ponder.
I am so grateful for not eating that “milky” canned corn my mother made for the evening supper! To this day I never eat canned corn.












My father speaking saying good things






From 5 years of age through 16th year, my father would meet with me weekly. I would say that in these meetings my father would tell me all of the family stories that he knew or “invented’. He told me of his experiences with the women he knew, the work he did, the places he had visited, the troubles he had been involved: all these stories are vivid memories.






In fact, it is my belief that in these memories of my father’s STORYTELLING FUELED and formed   my IMAGINATION IN such a WAY THAT I received the gift of   “creative imagination”.






My father’s stories created within me the DESIRE TO study people, places, things and the PASSION FOR the DESIGN things, SPACES, BUILDING. Stories somehow, for me, mix and blend time: We are able to invoke A DREAM image mix it WITH A memory and then create AN IDEA that can BE MADE into SPACE.






in a way an architect makes the past present: future! I learned this from my father, andrew, while he filled me with his adventures and life stories of the farm. the bootlegging days, travels, pool rooms






Becoming a
person of value






Rainbows: I remember as a child- I must have been in the 2nd grade maybe 7 years old- a hot summer’s day in the deep south- looked at the mountain or hill that rose from the creek that flowed past my grandmother’s house.






We lived in what the coal miners called a “holler” This hill had captured my imagination for the entire summer and on this day I decided to climb up its steep side to the top.  Nearing the summit sweating a storm came and pouring rain down the side of the hill, filled the creek, and drenched everything in sight including me.






The storm was over with in minutes and the sun returned with a vengeance of heat. As I sat there and my clothes began to dry out I was able to gaze out over the scene below me:






everything glistened – the reds, blues, greens and gold’s and I will never forget how blue the sky was with a few big billowing white clouds to my left in the distance.






Then they’re appeared as if in a mist a rainbow that arched so high I had to stretch my neck to get the entire sight into my eyes:






…. A SACRED MOMENT NOT ever to be forgotten…






It was on that HILLTOP LOOKING over the earth below, INTO the colors of that rainbow that I asked the question what WOULD I do with my life?






I was no doubt inspired and I really do not recall what went through my mind but in the descent down the mountain I decided to become a person that would have value to others and  to myself.






Current work | study






Ordination: 1985  Permanent Deacon
(served 4 Dioceses)



Permanent Deacon Lexington Diocese, 2000 to present:
Senior Status October 2007



Current: Chaplain: McDowell Hospital, volunteer staff // Sts. Peter/Paul Catholic Church: Parish Chaplain



the Society of Sacred Art  | Architecture, Inc.



Publisher: ArchAngel Publications 1998 to present



Liturgical Architect: 1971 to 2008






Publications: 6 publications on Creative Spirituality and the Divine Hours



Manuscripts: Art| Architecture: The Education of an Artisan



Manuscripts: My 4th Day Journal: 20 years of preaching 12vol.



Manuscripts: Space Symbol and Spirituality: The Eucharistic Space, Sanctuary: 4 Vol., Presence, and Toys



Liturgical commission



Service: Executive Committee for Toledo Diocese Liturgical Commission (1979-1988)



Service:  United States Catholic Conference Committee Liturgical (FDLC 1981-1988)



Service: Diocesan 10 Year Renovation Programme: author  (Bishop Hoffman/ Rv. R. Doppler)



Service: Cathedral Organ Restoration
 (Skinner Historic Organ:  Registration Number 802)



Service: Nashville Diocesan Planning and Programming Process ( 15 parishes)  ( Bishop Neidergessess)



Training: Father Robert Doppler, Executive Director of FDLC, Frank Kacmarick, Ed Sovick



Recognition: Churches of Note: Five (5) renovations



Liturgical Architect: 32 Church s [25 Catholic churches in various Dioceses]



Seminars: Christology, 10 Commandments, Mother of God, RCIA, Cursillio, Catholic Catechism, tHE HOLY sPIRIT



Seminars: Worship, Journaling workshop
 (Carnegie Literacy Center)












Ex MBA Program: Vanderbilt University, 1986-1993: Dr. Fogg; University Michigan; Qual Pro TQM



Leadership: University of Michigan 1991-1996 Rodney McGraw, Dean; Learning Organization, SSOE



Total Quality Management (1989-1997) : SSOE, Corporate Planning/ Qual Pro Management/ Systems



Consultations: Little Sisters of the Poor, Notre Dame Sisters, Ursulines, Sisters St. Francis, Precious Blood













The Church is the “symbol” of the Community
 both spiritually and physically
 the Church is the  sign of this supernatural reality”.
“Church Building is a sacred process: The creation of living form A
 Spiritual Universe
 “The art of building Church is the holy work unlike no other
It is the work that prays







design and practice






North Carolina state: formation under birleline, taylor, George matsumoto, Eduardo Catalano, Eduardo Sacriste, jose de riveria, horacio caminios, montagero, roy guesso, richard neutra, Ducan stuart, Dean sappenfiled. Paul Bussion.



Munger munger architects:


1963- 69

Ball State University: Served as
 associate Professor of ARCHITECTURE and PLANNING



SSOE Architects: Partner- owner 1970 through 1999.
Corporate design: institutional, recreational, hotel and convention FACILITIES, PRISONS, mental HEALTH HOSPITALS Music and performing Arts center(s),
Liturgical Architect: 30 Church design Project
Research Architect: The Transformation of the Mental Hygiene and corrections Institutions under Martin Janis.STATE of Ohio Department of corrections, Developmental DISABILITIES, Ohio Commission on AGING, AND The department of mental health. Over 100 completed and constructed PROJECTS.  Projects include design and CONSTRUCTION in RESEARCH, Program, and Design.














A.I. A, Design. Award: SSOE International Headquarters
Masonry AWARD:
SSOE International Headquarters



Hospitality Association Award:

•Maumee Bay State Park Lodge, Cottages,
Nature/RECREATION CENTER & Golf Course



A.I.A DESIGN AWARD: Blue Cross of Northwest Ohio



State of Ohio Outstanding Architect/ Consultant:

Governor Richard Celeste,
Ohio Department of Natural Resources



Toledo Liturgical Commission Churches of Note:

•Saint Ignatius Catholic Center, Parish Life Center



•Saint Clements Catholic Church, renovations to the sanctuary



•Lourdes College, Sisters of St. Francis,
Queen of Peace Chapel



•Saint Peter’s Catholic Church, Archibald, Ohio,
 renovations to the sanctuary



•Saint Clements Catholic Church
renovations, to the sanctuary



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