4 September 2011

Two Pats and a Lady

Continuing on from last post with Vox's and my list of the most beautiful churches in our neck of the woods, or, as Vox put it, "English Canada," we now come to two St. Patrick's.  The first, in Ottawa, is the oldest English speaking parish in the area.  The architects of the current church also designed portions of the Parliament buildings. 

The rather striking colour scheme inside the church, which, unfortunately does not come across well in the photos, although you may see a little of it in the ceiling in the above photo,  was done by Guido Nincheri, who is sometimes called "Canada's Michelangelo.'  he was based in Montreal, but travelled around doing paintings, and stained glass windows, and aiding in the decorations of churches.  He even did a few in Toronto, including St Paul's and my old church.

One of the striking features of the church are the two paintings flanking the main altar.

According to the church's website, these paintings, either copies of paintings by Murillo or done in his style, were painted by Quebec nuns in the 1920's.  (Sure beat the heck out of felt banners, don't they?)

The second St Patrick's, in Kinkora, Ontario, was another of the churches designed and built by Joseph Connelly.  Of all the churches I have listed here, this is the only one I have not been to.  Yet.  Unfortunately, the church's website has few pictures of the church or its interior.  Fortunately, the New Liturgical Movement had a few posts on the church a few years back, so I can get a photo from there.

They also link to this video.

The last of our list of churches is Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph, another of Connelly's churches.  Unlike the two Patrick's, it is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside,

According to Wikipedia, the land on which the church stands, the highest point in the city of Guelph, was granted by John Galt, the founder of Guelph to his friend, bishop Alexander MacDonnell, in return for some advice and a favour.  In the words of the deed which transferred the land the Catholic bishop,"On this hill would one day rise a church to rival St. Peter's in Rome."  While I would not go so far, I would say it is a very beautiful church. 

The inside is intensely decorated, and I strongly encourage my readers to go to their website and look at their photo graphs of the interior.

The interior of this church is currently undergoing a restoration, but it was for a time quite famous in the blogosphere for the renovation it did not undergo.  During the 1990's, the church needed some repairs to the leaky roof and some water damage.  A parish council was convened, and they began a list of necessary repairs, and soon morphed into a :list of "As long as we're doing this, we might as well..."  They hired a renowned church designer and renovator to help them with their plans: Father Dick Vosko.  Vosko presented the church with plans that included the destruction of the High Altar, moving the sanctuary forward, a second organ, and all his usual renovation recommendations.  The plan was very nearly set in motion, when the parishioners organised and worked to put a stop to the plans.  The full story can be read here.  The current work the church is finally undergoing is to repair the damage and years of neglect, and to restore it once again to its full beauty.

I will round out this series of posts with one more detailing briefly the church I regard as the most beautiful in English Canada, soon.

Next Post
Post with a series of links to panoramic views of several of Canada's most beautiful churches.

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