Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday Service: St. Thomas Catholic Church


Yesterday was a great day! I had planned an exploring trip to an area NE of me. Friends of mine, who know the area, were able to meet up with us and we had lunch and visited a bunch of places. All these places were new to me. I had a list of things I was looking for and I was able to show them a couple spots new to them as well.

At the recommendation of my friend Tim, we stopped at Catholic Church of St. Thomas near Duhamel, AB. This simple church was constructed in 1883 of logs. The logs were covered in 1915 when clapboard siding became available. At the same time the bell tower and sacristy (I had to look up what this was) were added.

This church is associated with the work of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate among the Metis communities of Alberta. It remains the only Metis Mission Church on it's original site in Alberta. This church is for the most part unaltered from it's original construction and additions in 1915. It was active until the 1960's and was then converted to a museum. It became a designated Provincial Historic Building in 1980.



Her -----> Him

The cemetery is a bit behind the church, we didn't walk to it.



Since I saw several churches yesterday, I will be posting them on Sundays.

References: HeRMIS


32 comments:

  1. Wonderful that it has been preserved.

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    1. Thanks William! Yesterday I saw this one, an orthodox church, a boarded up empty fading away one and one converted to a house. Quite a variety!

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  2. I really like the first photo. I always say photography is all about lighting. In this scene you were there when the light was enhancing the sky which turned in to a bonus for you.

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    1. Thanks Andy! I need to work on my lighting but sometimes I get lucky with a neat sky! I will make note of that Sunny 16 rule.

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    1. Thanks Gorges! Sometimes it feels like there is some type of church on every other country road. Not all preserved like this though.

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  4. From the days when simple structures were prayerful gathering places. Love it!

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    1. HI Marie, I love the simplicity of the designs of these country churches. Lots are very similar but unique too.

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  5. We have countless churches in my city, only 2 of them are Catholic.

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    1. Hi Adam, there is quite a variety of denominations to these country churches. There are parts of Alberta that have Orthodox churches everywhere...they are so interesting. Definitely not a simple structure like this one.

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    1. Ha! I am surprised it is marked at all..

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  7. What a beautiful old church! I like the rustic interior.

    I have to agree with Andy, that first photo has great light.

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    1. Thanks Steve! I like how it turned out as well. We also found a couple interesting old train cars sitting in a field close to here. I will send you a photo.

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  8. It was a fun day, Jenn. You took some really great pics. Glad I was able to introduce you to this little gem. And you introduced me to Verdun school just a few kms west and which I didn't even know was there! lol.

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    1. Hey Tim, yes I am glad it wasn't all same old stuff (literally old stuff) for you. Also thanks for helping me get my car un-stuck!

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  9. You had quite a an adventure of discovery on that trip Jenn. Great images and history.

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    1. Thanks Glen, it was a good day. Lots of photos for Instagram and blog material!

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  10. This is a really lovely old church! Great find, Jenn! It's nice to see that the centrally-placed tabernacle (the small box with a lockable, arched door) is still present on the altar. Did you happen to look inside?

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    1. Hi Michael. Unfortunately it’s gated off after you step inside. I had to admire from afar. What’s normally inside?

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    2. If my memory serves me well...The Eucharist (bread and wine) is stored in vessels inside the locked tabernacle and is used for Holy Communion; a communion spoon is also often present. Some of the more elaborate tabernacles will also have a little drawer. The only reason I know this is because I asked a Catholic priest about it a long time ago.

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    3. That's great, thank you for the info. I heard the church is fully open during a summer pioneer day type festival...I should try and go. I am more curious now.

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  11. Very nice. I have added this to my list.

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    1. Thanks BW. I’m glad Tim suggested it. It’s s great little church.

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  12. Nice ones ... hope you stayed warm :-)

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    1. Thanks Frank! It was right around freezing so it was actually a really great day for exploring. It felt coldest inside the church, maybe because I expected the inside of a building to be warmer.

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  13. Another great find, Jenn. This church is well looked after and I am glad it became a historical building. These finds just make your day, don't they? I love reading about them. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Bill! They definitely make my day and I am glad there are people who look after them and people who appreciate reading about them.

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  14. A great essay on this place Jenn! I was amazed as much as you, and I'd been there before, but never realized I could go inside! My hat goes off to Hayden who discovered the door wasn't locked!

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    1. Thanks Tim, I have found that the registered historic places are usually open. LOL yes Hayden is happy if he can go in a building. I have to stop him from running off sometimes.

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  15. Love days like that Jenn! Although I'm never going to have snow days like that 😀 What a very lovely wee church this is, I can just imagine the small congregation gathering here. Love that they preserve things more these days rather than bulldozing everything down!

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    1. Hi PDP, I like to picture the people gathering here too, I am sure there was a lot of good times at this church. I wish more places were preserved like this. Later that day, we saw another church, mostly boarded up, full of pigeons and debris with a failing foundation. That is sad to see.

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