16 September 2012

"On this hill would one day rise a church to rival St. Peter's in Rome."

I rented a car for this weekend, and tonight, with nothing else to do, I went for a drive with Puff and the two younger ones Westward on the 401.  We found ourselves near Guelph, with a camera, so Puff and I took a few photos of one of my favourite churches around here:  Our Lady Immaculate.

The church is built on the highest part of Guelph.  The founder of Guelph, John Galt, a Protestant, donated the land to his friend, Bishop Macdonnell of Kingston, as thanks for advice the bishop had given him for the foundation of the Canada Company.  The road leading up to the church, from which the first picture was taken, is called Macdonnell Street.  When Galt transferred the land over to Macdonnell, he is said to have written the following words: "On this hill would one day rise a church to rival St. Peter's in Rome."

The church is still prominent feature of the Guelph skyline.  It is protected by local bylaws, and no building may be made taller than it.  A few years ago there was an attempt to change the law, an a newspaper wrote an editorial counting off all the reasons why it may be a good idea to change the law, and concluded with words to the effect: "Of course, if you go through with this plan, you will never be elected again."  The measure was dropped.

The church was designed by Joseph Connolly, whom I have mentioned many times before.  This is considered to be his masterpiece.  As to whether or not it rivals St Peter's... I would say no, but he gave it a good try.

In addition to this, I also visited the Credit River yesterday, and saw the tail end of the annual salmon migration.  The lover of nature in me was awe-inspired by the sight of these mighty fish, many weighing easily thirty pounds and more, fighting their way upstream, leaping over obstacles in their single minded push up the river.  The fisherman in me was appalled to see such fish while I was standing in a fish sanctuary.


Patience said...

Beautiful church... and yet we have a family regularly making the trek from Guelph down to King and Jamison because they want to enjoy "a gourmet meal vs a McDonalds liturgy". Too bad the beauty is only on the surface.

Bear-i-tone said...

That's odd. The last time I was there the liturgy was okay, nothing egregious happened. Perhaps I should take another look.

Patience said...

I don't think there's anything in error with the liturgy; (not that I've attended one there) but perhaps it's very mainstream (ie Glory and Praise/Eucharistic Ministers etc) The previous comparison was a direct quote when I asked why they drove all that way in. Sort of that the liturgy in Guelph was "ok" but just not very inspiring.

Bear-i-tone said...

I've met quite a few people like that, felt that way myself many, many times, and there are times when I wonder if that kind of thinking doesn't lead to a problem. Taken to the extreme, what you have are people who do not worship God at this "gourmet meal" of a Mass, but instaed worship the Mass itself. It is a rather ironic form of idolatry.

Patience said...

There is truth in that. I am guilty of not going to my parish church but travelling downtown. It's only a 20 min drive but now I feel spoiled and would find it hard to attend a mainstream Mass. I particularly don't miss the Sign of Peace.
However; the Novus Ordo I go to is pretty plain so I can't see it as something I "worship". (plus it's hard enough just to follow along while keeping my two in line; an 8 year gap doesn't always mean perfect peace. LOL!)

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

"an 8 year gap" yup I know exactly what you mean