Sunday, June 26, 2011

                                                                                                               June 26, 2011
545 Mahon Avenue

St. Edmund's Catholic Church
North Vancouver, B.C.

St. Edmund's Catholic Church at 545 Mahon Ave. in the City of North Vancouver was built in 1910.  It was the third church to be built in North Vancouver.  The first was in 1868. (Reference 1.) It was the forerunner of St. Paul's Catholic Church and built not far from the waterfront on  Native Lands.  The second was in 1900.  It was Church of Saint John the Evangelist originally built on Chesterfield Ave. south of West 13th St. and in the City.

St. Edmund's Catholic Church sits in Lower Lonsdale at the west end of the block long West 6th Street boulevard named Ottawa Gardens.  This long boulevard was originally skirted by  large prestigious homes such as the 1907 Italian Renaissance Revival home at 214 W. 6th Street that is still in use today.

The name of the church, St. Edmund's comes from its founder Rev. Father Edmund Peytavin, O.M. I. who also served as the priest for St. Paul's.  St. Edmund of Abingdon was his patron saint.  St. Edmund was the first Doctor of Divinity at Oxford, the Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, and the Archbishop of Canterbuy between 1233 and 1240 AD.  A statue of the saint sits in an alcove on the exterior of the church above  the front doors. 

St. Edmund's statue in alcove above front doors.

 A painting of the saint is on the lower right corner of the magnificent 1981 mural on the wall behind the front altar.

The original church with its octagonal steeple seated  200 people in the sanctuary.  In 1949 that was doubled to 400 "by drawing the two side walls out by 10 feet by means of skids lubricated with soft soap". (Reference 1.)

Sanctuary and Icon Mural by Andre Provost

"The church was redecorated in the 1960's, but the sanctuary and altars (remained) original.  A panel of icons depicting Christ, Our Lady and various angels and saints, was added to the sanctuary's back wall in the 1970's when medallions were also painted along the wall of the nave.  This was done under the direction of Father Monroe, who capped the project by painting the cross at the top of the spire with the help of a crane!" (Reference 1.)

"The (present) Mural of icons (on the front wall behind the altar) at St. Edmund’s Church, North Vancouver was started in 1980 and completed by Easter 1981. The overall size is 8 feet by 15 feet and materials used were acrylic, latex and gold paint on wood."   It was painted by Andre Prevost. (See Link 1.) 
The (present) medallions in the Nave were started in 1981 and completed in 1984.

                           North Wall Icon Medallion painted by Andre Provost

In 1988, repairs were necessary again when lightning struck the octagonal tower, scattering wood splinters, nails and shingles on the ground.

"Father Arduino Galnti became the pastor in 1990 and undertook extensive renovations, including the movement of the sacristy to the south side of the altar, relocation of two stained glass windows which had been hidden in the wall behind the altar and the placement of ceramic tile down the aisles of the church.   A beautiful wooden ceiling was uncovered and restored. The exterior of the church also underwent improvements, with new tiles for the steps and extensive landscaping." (Reference 1.)

St. Edmund's Catholic Church and Rectory (to the left)
St. Edmunds Catholic School was built south of the church in 1911.  A Rectory was built between the church and the school in 1913.  "Both were designed by Asoekk and Jones, Architects." (Reference 1.)

Today Sunday Mass is held at St. Edmund's Catholic Church on Saturday at 4:30 pm (anticipated Sunday Mass), and Sunday at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 11:00 am.  Attend one of these services to join the robust congregation (of about 1000 families) in worship, a centennial celebration, or for inspiration by one of the beautiful icon paintings.

Reference 1: 2005 National Heritage Week, North Vancouver Heritage Sacred
                          Sites, "St. Edmund's Catholic Church-1910" by Maureen Curtis.
Reference 2: City of North Vancouver Heritage Inventory 1994
Reference 3: Tradition of Faith and Service, Jacqueline Gresko, 2008.
Photos: Taken in June 2011 by SW.
                 Black and White photos taken in 2004 on file at the North Vancouver
                Color photo from Y2K Project on file at the North Vancouver Archives.
Link 2:



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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Baptist Church
Port Angeles, Washington

"Port Angeles is a city in and the county seat of Clallam County, Washington, United States The population was 18,397 at the 2000 census, making it the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula.

"The city is situated on the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula along the shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It features a long and narrow natural sandspit named Ediz Hook that projects north-easterly nearly three miles into the Strait, creating a large, natural deep-water harbor shielded from the storms and swells that move predominantly eastward down the Strait from the Pacific Ocean. The harbor is deep enough to provide anchorage for most kinds of ocean-going ships.  The south shore of Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria, British Columbia are visible across the Strait to the north." (Link 1.)

"Back in 1890 a small group of Pioneers gathered to start an organization which later resulted in incorporation of the First Baptist Church of Port Angeles... That first group... erected a one-storey framed building at the corner of Second and Oak were held only occasionally, between 1905 and 1913...the mortgage ...was foreclosed;... but a few brown stained pews (now in Fellowship Hall and the gallery) were saved.


In 1914 the Baptists again started a church, first in a parlor, then in the Four Square Gospel Chapel, then "erecting a new building" on Seventh and Peabody. "In 1919 we decided to acquire lots at the corner of Sixth and Laurel Street, (105 West 6th Street) on which to build a much needed larger building... On December 1923 this was dedicated.  This cost the Church $9000 and is now being used as part of our Sunday School 1939...the members voted to build what is now our main Sanctuary.(Reference 1954.)

Rose Window

In 1941 a "Rose Window" was placed high above the main entrance to the Sanctuary picturing our Christ with His outstretched hands beckoning all to "Come Unto Me".  The First Baptist Church's sister church in Santo Tomas, Costa Rica is copying this Rose Window in their new church building. In 1968 a new Education wing was built. (Reference "Our First Hundred Years".)

Memorial Cross

In 1971 a beautiful wood (memorial) cross behind the baptistry was mounted.

"The mission of the church remains what it has always been, to share the love of Christ with our neighbors, and therefore any of our "neighbors" who read the blog are welcome to visit." (The Reverend Timothy Hughes.)

Thank you: To Barbara Cummings for history and for photos.
                        (Photo shopped by SW.)
                        References: Brief History of the First Baptist Church...1954,
                                                                  by H. Fred Bishop
                                                Our First Hundred Years 1890-1990
                                                                  by Martha Hollingsworth
Link 1:,_Washington
Link 2:



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

Sunday, June 12, 2011

                                                                                                                   August 28, 2011

9004 N. Country  Homes Blvd.

First Church of the Nazarene
Spokane, Washington

"The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denominationthat emerged from the 19th-century Holiness movement in North America. With its members colloquially referred to as Nazarenes, it is the largestWesleyan-holiness denomination in the world.[1][2] At the end of September 2014, the Church of the Nazarene had 2,295,106 members in 29,395 churches in 159 different "world areas".[3] The Church of the Nazarene uses "world area" to describe countries and areas that are a part of a country, but may be known by a different name. More than 20 of the denomination's 159 world areas fall into this category, such as Guam, a U.S. territory on the Asia-Pacific Region."
 (Link 1.)

Spokane First Church of the Nazarene
Sanctuary 2011

"Spokane First Church of the Nazarene started in 1902.  (10 acres was purchased in Northern Mead farm area of Spokane, 9004 Country Homes Blvd.)  Construction began on the current building in 1973, at which point the organ was installed.

"The Church offers both contemporary and traditional services Sunday morning, as well as ministry groups and activities for all ages.

"The Church of the Nazarene is the largest denomination in the Wesleyan-Armenian theological tradition."  (Reference.)

1914 Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, 2011

(To see a video for the church organist playing the music planned for Easter go to "You Tube, Wurlitzer-Spokane Church Organ" or use Link #4.)

"Our historic theatre pipe organ, originally from Seattle's Liberty Theater, is Wurlitzer Opus 42 from 1914, the 42nd organ made by the factory.  It consisted of Trumpet, StringII, Vox Humana, Octave Coupler and Tremulant.

"Declared by Farny Wurlitzer, president of the company, to be the instrument that put Wurlitzer on the map as the major theatre organ builder, Opus 42 became famous as a West Coast demonstration installation for prospective buyers.

"The theatre,  a 2,100-seat modern movie palace(The Liberty Theater  in Seattle)-rather than a converted vaudeville or stage theater-was so popular that crowds lined up for three blocks.  Located at First and Pike in downtown Seattle, it enjoyed easy access to trolley lines.

"The organ was used regularly until 1929, when talkies came in.  It was maintained until 1935...In 1955, the building was slated to be demolished, so
Dr. R. byard Fritts, professor of organ at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) bought the organ... removed it and installed in the PLU Gymnasium, where it was used for basketball games, religious convocations and other events.

"The organ remained at Pacific Lutheran University until 1973, when Spokane First Church of the Nazarene was looking for a suitable pip organ for its new building, then under construction.  PLU wanted to part with the organ in favor of a classical instrument more suited to teaching and literature, so they sold it to the church for $5000." (Reference.)

The largest of the organ pipes is 3 feet square and 35 feet long.  Special effects include:bird, train, and boat whistles, cow bell, and fire gong. (Link 3.)

"The Spokane First Nazarene Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society was founded in 2007 to share this historic instrument with community and church members."  At quarterly chapter meetings members can play the instrument. (Reference.)
Thank You: To members of the congregation for the tour of the church and to the church organist for a short but thrilling concert on the organ.
Note: Blog Post was update 2/11/2016 due to copy loss.
Photos: Taken in April 2011 by SW.
Reference: Spokane First Nazarene Theatre Organ Society pamphlet.
Link 2:
Link 3:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Trinita dei Monti
Rome, Italy

"Trinità dei Monti (also called Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio, Trinità del Monte, or Holy Trinity on the Pincio Hill) is a Baroque church in Rome. It is best known for its scenographic dominance above the Spanish Steps that descend to the Piazza di Spagna. The church and its area (including the Villa Medici) are the property of the French State."  (See Wikipedia.)  The church was built from 1723 to 1725.  There are 138 steps leading from the Piazza di Spagna (Yes there is a Metro stop  by that name.) up to the prominade with its picturesque railing in front of the church.  They are the longest and widest steps in Europe and are seen as a meeting place for people from all over the world. The Spanish name of the square, Piazza di Spagna and the name of the steps comes from the nearby Spanish Embassy.  However, the construction was paid for by Louis the XV of France.

"In front of the church stands the Obelisco Sallustiano, one of the obelisks in Rome, moved here in 1789 from its position in the Gardens of Sallust." ( See Wikipedia.)
In Rome they say that if you sit long enough on the Spanish Steps in front of the Holy Trinity on the Pincio Hill  you will meet someone you know.  Perhaps that is what these people in the photo below are waiting for. 

Photo: Top  and bottom photo taken in April 2010 in Rome, Italy by SW.



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