Vancouver sights

They say there are mountains around Vancouver.

I don’t believe it. 

There is only a solid gray science fiction like void of clouds.

I could be in Gary, Indiana, for all the mountains I see here.

Anyway… without mountains, I visited St. Peter and Paul parish where Fr. Horgan has made some fine stained glass windows, with great elements worked in.  They depict the beatitudes with saints and blesseds who exemplify those beatitudes.

I don’t remember the name of the Austrian sister who has killed by the Nazis because she took down their swastikas and nailed crucifixes to the walls of her clinic.  She has a stethoscope here, and a mug of beer.  She liked beer.

The pastor’s little cat is in one window.

In a window for the Nativity, Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd have brought junior who brought the Christ Child his little rocking horse toy as a gift.  Sweet.

We visited rapidly the Holy Rosary Cathedral.

In your hours off in Vancouver you could stop in for some pot (medicinal, of course).

We also had the chance to visit a nice little Chinese scholars garden, built in the style of those in Suzhou.  Always visit Chinese gardens… especially the one in Portland.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in On the road, SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Jana says:

    Blessed Restituta Kafka.

  2. Jana: Yes! That’s her.

  3. Breck says:

    Dear Fr.Z. You are not the first to find the mountains veiled from your view. In the 1960’s my cousins from England visited us during a particularly hazy time. For a full week they averred that we were lying about the mountains. Fortunately the haze cleared on their last day in town and we were vindicated. Good luck.

  4. Mrs. Bear says:

    I remember the plane coming down into Vancouver airport the first time I went to visit my husband’s parents and saying “I knew there were no mountains!”.
    The next day I said – “OK where are those beautiful mountains?”
    My husband grew up in Vancouver. His mentor is Fr. Ron Thompson. Good priest!
    Mr. Bear also went to Westminister Abbey for two years at the Minor Seminary (Christ the King Seminary). His profile was used for a few of the wall murals.
    Hope you get a chance to go there.
    Pax Christi,

  5. Those stained glass windows are gorgeous.

  6. Another window, just for fun.


    Here is, on the right, Bl. Alberto Marvelli, with soccer ball and, on the left, St. Thomas Becket, who looks remarkably like a certain movie actor.  Note the chess piece at his feet.

  7. Kate says:

    I wish more of our modern churches had such great stained glass windows! The learning that could be taking place (“Mom, who is that with the soccer ball? Why does that man have a chess piece?”). No child is prompted to ask questions that lead to learning about the lives and sacrifices of the saints if they are surrounded by geometrically shaped pieces of colors (or worse yet, ordinary windows).

    I had never really thought about stained glass windows until my father pointed out to me that stained-glass windows help us by keeping all of the concerns of the outside world away from us and focusing us on the Church (if only for the short time we are physically in the church).

    There is also a great analogy in John Stoddard’s Rebuilding a Lost Faith. He compares an individual who is not a member of the Church to the viewing of stained glass windows:
    “One thinks of the familiar metaphor of a stained glass window in a vast cathedral. Seen from without by day, this seems to be an unintelligible mass of dusky glass. Wiewed from within, however, it reveals a beautiful design, where sacred [his]story glows resplendently in form and color. So is it in the Church of Rome. One must enter it to understand its sanctity and charm”(299).

    I have always treasured beautiful stained glass windows since I read that passage years ago.

  8. Kimberly says:

    I have never seen a statue or stain glass window depicting St. Thomas Becket, and he would be such a good example for our times.

  9. Lynne says:

    Okay! The window with the little cat is wicked cute…

  10. Gail F says:

    What great windows!

    The parish church I grew up at has very bizarre windows. They are in a certain style but I don’t know the name, and they must be about 4 inches thick. The pieces of glass are mostly geometric and, due to the thickness, are very vividly colored, and are set with concrete. I can’t explain very well; here’s a link:

    There are highly stylized pictures in the concrete. When I was a child I had no clue that they had anything to do with each other or with the patron, St. Thomas More. Now that I’m adult I appreciate what they are but I can’t say that I like anything about them.

    You can see bigger pictures on this page:

    None of the rest of the things shown were there when I was a parishioner, it’s all been redone recently. I’ve visited on trips home, and it’s very imposing. But still not at all my taste. The only thing I find interesting (I haven’t decided whether or not I like it) is the way they’ve redone the tabernacle, which is right in the middle of a wall! You can see it on the page above; it’s smack dab in the middle of the circular stained glass. What’s interesting is that there’s an adoration chapel on the other side. So you can see it all the time in the main church AND it’s in an adoration chapel. Has anyone else ever seen one like this?

    Yes, the bas relief (I suppose it qualifies as one) of the “risen Christ” is over the altar instead of a crucifix.

  11. Frank H says:

    Gail F – at St Dominic in Brookfield, Wisconsin, the tabernacle is situated fairly traditionally in the sanctuary. But it is double-sided, so that, on the other side of the wall, it is equally accessible to the chapel designed for daily Mass. This church was built around 1982. I understand that the daily Mass attendance has outgrown the smaller chapel.

  12. irishgirl says:

    What cool windows-I love the ‘personal touches’!

    I was just going to say ‘Blessed Restituta Kafka’, Father Z, but Jana beat me to it! The Sister suffered a cruel death-the Nazis had her decapitated by guillotine.

    Kimberly-if you could get to Canterbury, England, you would see lots of windows of St. Thomas Becket. They are in the Cathedral-naturally, because that’s where he was killed-as well as in the smaller Anglican Church of St. Dunstan [where St. Thomas More’s daughter Meg Roper buried his head after she plucked it off London Bridge] and at the Catholic Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury.

    But I never saw a Becket window that looked like Richard Burton [yeah, I know Father, I gave it away]!

  13. pseudomodo says:

    One of the most interesting windows is in Vancouvers Holy Rosary Cathedral.

    In the west side is the St. Therese window with a panel depicting her petitioning Pope Leo XIII for permission to enter Carmel.

    The ‘interesting’ part is that Pope Leo has two left hands! His right hand is reversed and is seen as a’left’ hand. Perhaps during its fabrication this glass piece was painted on the wrong side but then installed on the correct side.

    Strange! I always point his out to people…

    Check it out.

  14. Mark R says:

    Ah, Chinese gardens….

  15. timelord says:

    My cat Tiberius wants to be in a stained glass window now thanks to Fr Z.

  16. Agnes says:

    Sort of an Arts & Crafts architecture. I like it! I love the windows – I love the sense of humor! In hagiography, martyrs are often depicted with the instruments of torture that brought about their death. So for the nun, what killed her? The doctor or the beer? ;-}

Comments are closed.