20 July 2006

Thoughts for Thursday
aka More on Montreal

There are apparently a lot of Dominican nuns hanging around Montreal. I saw two more today, this time in Bonsecours chapel.

The interior of St. Joseph's Oratory is disappointing. You can definitely tell that the outside was completed according to the original design from (I think) the 20's, but that the interior wasn't finished until the 60's. The sculpture, ironwork, and arches are rough and "futuristic" in a bad way. It's too bad, because the votive chapel and crypt chapel are quite nice, and you see those before you get to the basilica interior, which makes it all the more disappointing. Give me Bonsecours, St. Patrick's, Notre Dame, or Reine-de-la-monde any day. Even the facade pipes on the organ were unattractive.

I did get a kick out of one thing in the main oratory, though--the statue of St. Thomas has his arms folded in a delightfully skeptical pose.

Despite my complaints about the main church, I found the votive chapel intensely moving--if you can walk in there and see the thousands of flickering candles sending prayers to heaven and hundreds of crutches hanging from the wall denoting prayers answered and fail to be moved, there's something wrong with your soul.

Canadians will put moose and beavers on anything, much as Americans might put an eagle on anything. But moose and beavers are funnier.

Montreal would be a lot more fun if my French were better.

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