Sunday, August 13, 2017

Madonna del ghisallo Portland Bicycle Shrine
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
1432 SW 13th Avenue

Madonna del Ghisallo Portland Bicycle Shrine
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Portland, Oregon

"Legend has it that in mediaeval times, a local count was being attacked by bandits when he saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary, and running towards this vision saved him. Thus, the Madonna del Ghisallo became the patroness of travellers. Then, in 1949 a local priest managed to persuade Pope Pius XII to admit her as the patroness of cyclists. Since then, the small chapel (in Italy) has become a shrine to cycling legends, both living and deceased, and provides a memorial to those who have fallen in our sport." (Link 4.)

The Cyclist's Prayer

"The flower-decked bike is the gift of the family and classmates from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in memory of Tracey Sparling." (REF.)  It is referred to by congregation members as "The Ghost Bike".  

Shrine inspired by Death of Tracey Sparling

The Bike Shrine Logo 
(Created by artist Pam Racs)

"The Madonna Bicycle painting is the gift of local artists, Martin Wolfe."

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is located in downtown Portland, Oregon.  (See Blog Post July 30, 2017.)

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church-Side Door

Note:Suzanne and Alan Wilson attended Sunday worship St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Portland during their May 2017 trip there to meet the woman who was the maid of honor at their wedding-50 years ago.  While at the church service they received a blessing from the priest in honor of their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Note: Suzanne and Alan Wilson's son, Richard-a photographer for "Churches On Sundays"-is a bicycle courier living and working in Basel Switzerland.


Reference: St. Stephen's Episcopal Parish Directory, 2012.
Link 1:
Link 2:
Link 3:;postID=727435 
                 (Blog Post on "Churches On Sundays".
Link 4:
Link 5:


God, be with persecuted Christians throughout the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
1432 SW 13th Avenue
(Side Door)

St. Stephen's Episcopal Parish
Portland, Oregon

"St. Stephen's Chapel was the second Episcopal church established in the growing city of Portland.  It was finance and built on what is ow the site of the City Hall by the Reverend Thomas Fielding Scott nine years after he was elected Bishop of the Missionary District of Oregon and Washington and arrived in the Oregon Country. 

"St. Stephen's opened its doors for services in 1863 with just a few families.  Separate Episcopal Schools (now the Oregon Episcopal School) were opened for boys and girls (St. Helen's Hall) adjacent to the church.  Needing room to expand, St. Stephen's was moved in 1870. 

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
(Link .)

"St. Stephen's grew and prospered.  A newly built chapel and school were consecrated by Bishop Benjamin Wistar Morris in June, 1882 with the mission to:
       "Aid in the culture of the spirit of the true reverence in both young and old....and carry on the blessed work preaching the Gospel and gathering the wander and stranger ito the fold of Christ."

"In 1890, St. Stephen's Chapel was moved again to its present location at the corner of 13th and Clay to allow growth for the school which now had 132 pupils.  By 1915, St. Stephen the Protomartyr Cathedral had 421 communicants and had established issions, outreach to the city's poor, suport of the city's Chinese  immigrants and a mission for African-American Episcopalians.

"Arson fire in 1024 destroyed the pro-cathedral and parish house.  Only the historic Lady Chapel and the Sacristy from St. Stephen's pioneer days were spared.  St. Stephen's was rebuilt in 1925 as a temporary structure that included installation of the Lady Chapel and a new organ.

"Over the years, various plans have been put forward to expand, improve or replace the "temporary" building supportive of St. Stephen's urban mission and ministry.

St Stephen the Protomartry Icon

"The icon is painted in the Eastern Christian manner as a young beardless man with a tonsure, wearing a deacon's vestments and holding a censer and incense container in the shape of a miniature church building reflecting his caretaking responsibilities....It was painted cy Australian artists, Olga Lukjanenko...and dedicated on ST. Stephen's Feast Day December 2009." (REF.)

"St. Stephen's was known as the "Bishop's Church" becoming the Pro-
Cathedral in 1906 and then the Cathedral until 1973.  St. Stephen's Cathedral standing was transferred, first  to St. John the Baptist Church, and affiliate of St. Stephen's, and in 1994 to Trinity Cathedral.

"St. Stephen's has a rich history of sacrament and service-actively sharing Episcopal tradition, experiences, faith and aid with our many diverse congregations of Portland's urban settlers, builders, leaders, children and families, individuals  and those in need for 150 years.

Altar with Sanctuary Cross

"Our historic sanctuary is graced with a dramatic wood center cross suspended from the vaulted ceiling.  The cross was carved in native bul myrtle by Oregon master sculptor LeRoy Setziol."  (REF.)

Madonna del Ghisallo Portland Bicycle Shrine

"Since November, 2009, the Portland Bicycle Shrine as been a place of reflection and meditation which honors the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cyclists.  The shrine is a place to celebrate the joy of bicycling, a place to tray for the safety of everyone on the road, a memorial to those who have fallen in bicycle accidents, a place of quiet contemplation for all and a sanctuary of solace for those who are grieving lost friends and family.  If you are a rider, you may ask that you and your bike be blessed in the Madonna's name." (Reference.)


Note:Suzanne and Alan Wilson attended Sunday worship St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Portland during their May 2017 trip there to meet the woman who was the maid of honor at their wedding-50 years ago.  While at the church service they received a blessing from the priest in honor of their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Reference: St. Stephen's Episcopal Parish Directory, 2012.

(See Blog Post 8/13/17 for  more on the Madonna del Ghisallo Portland Bicycle Shrine located in the sanctuary of the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church."


Wendolinskapelle Chapel
Mohlin, Switzerland

"Obermoshlin, Wendolinsgasse, at the junction Landstrasse-Zeiningerstrasse. 

"Möhlin is located on the railway line Basel-Zurich. From the station to the chapel, it is about 2 km along Bahnhofstrasse. Bus drivers use the line station Möhlin-Wegenstetten to the stop Obermatt.

Original Key  Stone on Entrance
 with Date of Current Building

"The Wendelinskapelle is located near three historical guest houses and a former ford through the Möhlinbach. Here, at the old junction of the Landstrasse through the Rhine valley and the road to Zeiningen-Wegenstetten, from where once a road crossed the Jura into the Aare valley. As early as 1478, a small church was mentioned here. The current date dates back to 1688. The fact that it already had a clock at that time underlined its prominent location on this busy road. Until the construction of today's Landstrasse in the 19th century, the road passed the chapel (Wendolinsgasse). 

"A picture cycle to the life of St. Wendelin covers a large part of the ship's walls. It is a 1920/23 early work of Basel artist Hans Stocker (1896-1983). Stocker is regarded as a pioneer of modern Swiss glass painting and as a renewer of ecclesiastical art in Switzerland. His pictures in Möhlin suffered an inglorious destiny. During renovation work in the years 1949/50 they were damaged by limestone spatter. Their elimination caused even greater damage, so that the murals were ultimately overshadowed with a white color. With the support of the monument preservation, the excavation took place in 1987/88. 

"Three baroque statues look from the choir wall. The nearly life-size Wendelin from the time around 1720/30 is attributed to the sculptor Hans Freitag from Rheinfelder. The bishops, Martin and Eligius, show two smaller, handsome figures. The latter is depicted with a horse and is the patron of the horses and drivers - suitable for the chapel on a traffic axis. 

"Three angels hover on the ceiling. The left holds a stone column as a sign of the stability of the church (= Ecclesia). In the middle figure of the angel with the cross is the word Fides (= loyalty, faith), in the right with the bishop's rod Apostolatus (= mission, order). 

Cross at Entrance

"Before the chapel entrance is a expressive trail cross from the time around 1600. On the renewed pedestal, next to a donor inscription is a Jakobsmuschel with staff (sign of the pilgrims). Whether it is referring to our earthly patronage, a pilgrimage of the founder to Compostela, or the pilgrims coming here, is open. It is known, That many Alsace pilgrims on their way to Einsiedeln Möhlin passed into the 19th century. 

One of the Pillars of the Cross

"There it is, the old road cross at the crossroads of the country road at the village exit to Zeiningen. For more than 400 years, it has been showing pilgrim sticks and a mussel as a signpost for pilgrims on the Way of St. James. The Christ figures depicted from the Buntsandstein anatomically very fine were signs of blessing for the people on the way. In the Wendelinskapelle they found refuge from rain and heat, a moment of rest with God on their way to Santiago. Historically it has been proved that a well-known group of Jakobspilgern from Switzerland did not take the route over Geneva, but ran across Basel through Alsace and Burgundy to Santiago in the far Galicia. 

"Many modern people are now discovering the old Way of St. James as an opportunity to give their life a new direction. Deceleration, praying with the feet, confiding in the providence of God, encounters in many ways, and much more is the fascination of the Way of St. James. (Link 1.)

Photos: Taken with an iPhone in May 2017 by Richard Wilson  while living and working in Basel, Switzerland.
Link 1: (translation)


God, be with persecuted Christians throughout the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Church of the Medonna

Church of the Medonna
Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy

"Montalcino is a hill town and comune in TuscanyItaly. It is famous for its Brunello di Montalcino wine.
"The town is located to the west of Pienza, close to the Crete Senesi in Val d'Orcia. It is 42 kilometres (26 mi) from Siena, 110 kilometres (68 mi) from Florence and 150 kilometres (93 mi) from Pisa. The Monte Amiata is located nearby."(Link 2.)

"The church of the Madonna del Soccorso in Montalcino was built in 1330 on the remains of the medieval little church of Porta al Corniolo, where it is believed that an age-old panel depicted the Virgin Mary was once displayed for local veneration. The building underwent radical expansion from 1478 to 1480, and was finished as late as 1609. The facade, work on which started in 1794 based on designs by Francesco Paccagnini, was completed in 1829. The interior is home to Baroque altars with works attributed to the Sienese Stefano Volpi (Holy Family) and Francesco Vanni (Crucifixion)." (Link 1.)

Church of the Medonna
Eroica Montalcino Balloon Celebration


Photos: Taken in May 2017 by Richard Wilson with his iPhone while participating in the 2017 Eroica Montalcino. (See Link 3.)
Link 1:
Link 2:
Link 3:


God, be with persecuted Christians throughout the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Santa Maria di Loppia Church

Santa Maria di Loppia Church 
Bellagio, Italy

"Bellagio  is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Como in the Italian region of Lombardy. It is located on Lake Como,...Bellagio is situated upon the cape of the land mass that divides Lake Como in two. (Link 3.) Bellagio is located in the extreme north of Italy, near the border with Switzerland.

"This small church is found in the hamlet of Loppia in the private park of the Villa Gerli. Loppia is found at the end of the garden of the Villa Melzi or if you are travelling on foot from Bellagio it would take you about 15 minutes by the road. The church is built in the Romanesque style with a bell tower crowned by small arches. Entry is closed to the public." (Link 1.)

Santa Maria di Loppia Church
(Side View)

"The church of St. Maria of Loppia has features  of remarkable antiquity; the shape of the windows and of the apse, the absence of decorations and the material of execution make suppose that the building was made at the end of the X century.

"Originally it was built by an irregular trapezium aisle with semicircular apse.  

"The lateral windows are long, double splay, disposed with irregular intervals, four towards South and three towards North.  The windows of the apse are instead wider.  A small cross shap window on the facade has its pendant to the back.

"The church became a property of the Benedictine nuns who modified it by ceiling the aisle and by building a small convent to the church.

"The church became in 1775 a property of the Venini family, who had to knock down the convent for the building of the wide path of Villa Giulia." (Link 2.)

Fenced Church Grounds

Photos: Taken in  April 2017 on iPhone by RW while  living and working
                in Basel Switzerland.

God, be with persecuted Christians throughout the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Church by the Side of  the Road
"The Church By The Side Of The Road"
Topsail, Newfoundland

Topsail is located on the east coast of  Newfoundland, south of the city of St. John's.  It is on Conception Bay and  part of the Conception Bay South Community.

The Church by the Side of the Road started in 1837 as a Wesley Methodist Meeting House.  The land was donated by the Butler family and is situated overlooking Conception Bay. A 30 foot by 18 foot building was erected from local timber by the community in 1836.

In 1871 a larger building with 2 rooms was erected to accommodate the growing congregation.  This is when it was named The Church by the Side of the Road.

In 1925 the church joined the United Church of Canada.

In 1977 another new church building was erected.  This larger church contains the original brass bell from the old church.

On 2002 another room was added to the back of the church.  This area includes a kitchen and new offices for the clergy. (Link 1.)

Photo: Copy of photo in Reference book.
Reference: NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR, deVisser/Blackwood, 1979. 
                       (Used book bought at the North Vancouver B.C. Restore by Alan
                         Wilson  2017.)
Link 1:


God, be with persecuted Christians throughout the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

 St. Sofia Orthodox Church
Baselstr. & Gladiolenstr. 2

St. Sofia Orthodox Church
Munchenstein, Switzerland

Munchenstein is a small town south of Basel.

"All the Greek-Orthodox churches in Switzerland belong to the Metropolitan (bishopric) of Switzerland.  Bartholomew's Archontoon is the Ecumenical Patriarch. In 2002, he also laid the cornerstone of this church..., making it the spiritual center of the Greek Orthodox Church in northwest Switzerland.

"The first ideas for the construction of a church of its own originated in the late 1980s. 

"The total area of ​​the property is about 1000sqm and the building height is 14m. The foundation was laid on January 19, 2002 and the church was inaugurated on October 12, 2002, after ten months of construction. The total cost - almost 9/10 of the total (was)  donated  .
Just behind the Tramlinie and the traffic circle of the Baselstrasse, you can see a building that is easily recognizable as a church: a tower through which arcuate openings can be seen, carrying a cross; A main building with a dome, almost as tall as the tower and also crowned by a cross; An arcade at the entrance; The wrought-iron fence with a recurring Christmonogram, the property borders the Trottoir along the traffic of the roundabout and the Quartierstrasse. 

Wrought Iron Fence

"Concerning the interior of the church,
  • The iconostasis, carved from oak, was handcrafted in Athens and finished after seven months' work in 2003.
  • The murals , which always have a specific theme from the traditional Orthodox tradition, were first painted on cloth by a Greek monastery in Megara and then placed in the designated places.
  • Among the items made in Greece are the candelabrum, the hand-carved bishop's chair, the pulpit, the wall chairs, the remaining chairs, the silver oil lamps, the candlestick and the candle stand with integrated smoke exhaust as well as all the liturgical devices placed in the altar room.
  • The double eagle on the marble floor once symbolized the power of the emperor and that of the patriarch.
  • The dome is decorated according to the orthodox tradition, with the representation of the Christ- Pantokrator surrounded by angels in half-figure. His right is raised to a blessing of blessing, while in his left hand he holds the Bible, which, according to orthodox understanding, symbolizes the glad tidings of the Gospel and the commandments to be derived from them. Old Testament prophets as well as the evangelists are also depicted. The first proclaimed the coming of the Savior, the evangelists made known His work of salvation. Thus the unity of the two testaments is emphasized.
  • In the calotte (cap) of the apse in the altar chamber, the enthroned Mother of God is depicted with a child - called the Platytera - accompanied by angels. The presentation of Mary, which is based on tradition, is intended to illustrate the role of mediator between God and man, which is guaranteed by Jesus as the savior of the world, but also emphasize the position of women in the Orthodox Church. This is also emphasized by the figure of the Annunciation of Mary above the apse, which is to be completed next year, together with other themes from the divine Oiconomy .
"Finally, the mosaic of the deceased Lucerne artist Fred de Roy (1911-1995) is located in the church hall on the lower floor of the church . (Link 1.)


Photos: Taken in April 2017 on iPhone by RW while  living and working in
                 Basel, Switzerland.
Link 1: (translation)
Link 2: 


God, be with persecuted Christians throughout the world. Amen (SW.)