Sunday, September 25, 2011

                                                                                                   October 7, 2012

1663 Peninsula Road

St. Aidan's on the Hill Anglican/United Church
Ucluelet, B.C. Canada

Ucluelet British Columbia is a small natural harbor town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island is 290 miles long and a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride from the mainland of British Columbia. To then get to Ucluelet is another 2 1/2 hour drive through small towns and then across the mountains. Until the 1950's the only access was by car to Port Alberni about in the center of the Island, and then by boat, probably the rough and ready Lady Rose. In fact, until the 1970's only a gravel logging road could be used for the the trip up one side of the mountain "switch backs" and then down the other side to the wild west coast rain forest that lead to the highway along the ocean and to Ucluelet at the south end and Tofino, an even smaller town, on the north end. When you reached Ucluelet all purchases cost 20 cents more per pound because of the freight charge. Today a paved road extends all the way to UclueletTofino, and Pacific Rim National Park. (See Link 3.)

Ucluelet means "people of safe harbor" in Nootka, the name of the Native Peoples that first populated the area. In 1870 a trading post was established and settlers followed in 1890. In 1898 the Presbyterians built the first Mission. In 1903 a lighthouse, telegraph station and lifeboat stations were added. The town became incorporated in 1952 and today there are 1500 residents.

Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada

St. Aiden's On-The-Hill sits at the top of the hill at the intersection of Peninsula Road and Main Street, the street that leads down to the waters of Barkley Sound and the town pier. Across the street from the church is the Coop making this corner the hub of the town. The church was built by the Anglican Diocese of B.C. in 1952. The prominent bell tower with the cross on it was added at a later date. St. Aiden's is named after a Celtic saint and for that reason Celtic liturgies are used from time to time. The minister is shared with the congregation of the Anglican church in Tofino and lay people help in leading the service and music. The entrance door to the church is on Peninsula Road, the opposite side of the church to what is seen in the photo above. The sanctuary is in the left side of the church photo with the altar in the punch out area where the window with the cross can be seen. The sanctuary can seat 60 to 100 people, however, in the early 1970's only about 20 people actually attended the 9 am Sunday worship service. Joan Scander the present minister reports even less than that in the pews on Sundays. The church at 1663 Peninsula Road is also rented out for community events.

On September 16, 2010 the Westerly News published an article announcing the plans to sell St. Aiden's.  A celebration of its 60 years of worship was held later in that month. (Link 4.)

Thank You: For additional information about the church to Joan Scander
present (2010) minister at St. Aiden's.
Note: St. Aiden's was attended by Suzanne Wilson when she lived on Long Beach in the early 1970's. Her husband was the district school librarian.
Photo:Taken in 2006 by SW.


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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saint-Marie Cathedral/Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
Saigon Hochiminh City, Vietnam

"Ho Chi Minh City..., formerly named Saigon... is the largest city in Vietnam." (See Link 2.) "Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica is a cathedral located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. " (See Link 1.)

"On 7 October 1877, Bishop Isidore Colombert laid the first stone in an inaugural ceremony. The construction of the cathedral took three years. On Easter Day, 11 April 1880, a blessing ceremony and ceremony of completion were solemnly organized in presence of the Governor of Cochinchina Charles Le Myre de Vilers. One can see the granite plate inside the main entry gate commemorating the start and completion dates and designer. The total cost was 2,500,000 French francs (at that time price). At the beginning, the cathedral was called State Cathedral due to source of the construction cost...

"All building materials were imported from France. The outside wall of the cathedral was built with bricks from Marseille. Although the contractor did not use coated concrete, these bricks have retained their bright red color until today...

"In 1895, two bell towers were added to the cathedral, each 57.6 m high with six bronze bells with the total weight of 28.85 metric tonnes. The crosses were installed on the top of each tower of 3.5 m high, 2 m wide, 600 kg in weight. The total height of the cathedral to the top of the Cross is 60.5 m...

"In 1959, Bishop Joseph Pham Van Thien, whose jurisdiction included Saigon parish, attended the Holy Mother Congress held in Vatican and ordered a Peaceful Notre Dame statue made with granite in Rome. When the statue arrived in Saigon on 16 February 1959, Bishop Pham Van Thien held a ceremony to install the statue... the cathedral was then-on called Notre-Dame Cathedral.  In 1962...this cathedral was called Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
Virgin Mary Statue

"During October 2005, the statue was reported to have shed tears, attracting thousands of people and forcing authorities to stop traffic around the Cathedral. However, the top clergy of the Catholic Church in Vietnam confirmed that the Virgin Mary statue in front of a cathedral did not shed tears, which nevertheless failed to disperse the crowd flocking to the statue days after the incident. The reported 'tear' flowed down the right cheek of the face of the statue." (See Link 1.)

Photos: Top photo copied by SW from a post card, labeled St. Marie
                Cathedral, sent by friend Lila in 2010.
                Second photo photoshopped from first.
Link 1:
Link 2:



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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

St. Joseph Bacilica
Alameda, California

"In the center of Alameda stand the buildings, old and new, of St. Joseph Parish.(1106 Chestnut St.) For over 133 years this parish has served the spiritual life of the Catholic families of central Alameda; at one time, all of Alameda. St. Joseph Parish started as a mission church in 1873. Land on the southeast corner of Santa Clara Avenue and Chestnut Street had been donated by Mr. Minturn, a non-Catholic, and the first Catholic church in Alameda was built... Each Sunday Fr. Gleeson came to Alameda on horseback or on foot to celebrate Mass and to teach Catechism. He served the entire Catholic population of Alameda which consisted mainly of families of Irish extraction. ..Twice in a period of seven years the church was enlarged. Finally in 1881 St. Joseph Church was moved to the southwest corner of Chestnut Street and San Antonio Avenue, just across from its present location...In 1885 St. Joseph became an independent parish.
                                                                Sanctuary 2011

"Just ten years after St. Joseph Mission Church became an independent parish, it had grown to the extent that a new church was needed. The new building was to be a beautiful Gothic edifice with a seating capacity of 700.

                                                      Window above altar 2011

"St. Joseph Church was designated a minor Basilica by Pope Paul VI on June 4, 1972....

                                                             High side windows 2011

In 1989 " It was decided early on that the altar needed to be moved closer to the congregation to an area near the meeting of the nave and transept of the Basilica...The new altar is made of wood and is square in shape. The ambo and presider’s chair are also of wood with the same design motif. The original high altar is still in place at the rear of the sanctuary. The tabernacle for the repose of the Blessed Sacrament is still mounted on top of the high altar and is separated from the new altar and congregation by a screen made of wood and plaster to create a sense of privacy for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Also, pews in the north and south transept of the basilica were turned inwards at a 90 degree angle to allow worshipers a better view of the altar." (See Link.)

Photos: Taken in 1911 by SW.



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

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Congregational Church/United Church of Christ
Alameda, California

"Rev. Scudder-1900First Congregational Church of Alameda was founded in 1879 by missionaries. The first minister (George Morris) of our church was was born in England and traveled from there via Capetown South Africa and Tahiti before coming to San Francisco and the Bay Area. When the rent of $2.50 a week at the original space became too high, services were moved to a hayloft above a livery stable on Webster Street and the Church became known as the "hayloft Church." In 1883 a small building was purchased in the 1700 block of Central Avenue which was moved in 1885 to our present location at the corner of Central Avenue and Chestnut Street, (1912 Central Avenue) in the heart of Alameda. In 1904 the cornerstone for the new building was laid and the completed structure was dedicated on Easter Sunday 1905. An education wing was added in 1963.

"In 1961 the members of the Church voted to become a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC) which was formed in 1957 by the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches.
Corner Scroll Plaque

"The UCC has a proud history of being on the leading edge of working
toward social justice. FCCA joined in this tradition in 1987 when our congregation accepted the 1985 resolution and call from our General Synod to declare ourselves “Open and Affirming,” adopting an Inclusive Non-discrimination Policy that states: “We do not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, or the differently abled.”

                                                        Left side feature window

"In 2004 we celebrated our 125th anniversary as a congregation and the 100th anniversary in this historic structure. Today, FCCA is a growing and vibrant community of Christian faith, where all persons and families are welcome. We move into our future full of hope and with gratitude for God’s faithfulness – yesterday, today and tomorrow." (See Link.)

Photos: Taken in 2011 by SW.



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