Saturday, December 30, 2006

Parish Links

I've started adding to the parish links. The ones I've started with have both good buildings and tolerable websites. I may have missed a couple, so absense doesn't mean anything.

Sts. Peter and Paul, Sandusky

I borrowed this from their WEBSITE . Very impressive. The trefoil window nad the arcade in the tower are fantastic. I like the treatment of the tower parapet but it looks later. In fact, the whole top story on the tower could have been added later. Does anyone know? If it was, they did a very good job.

Cardinal Stritch

Bishops of Toledo have a tendency to rise in the hierarchy. None rose farther than Samuel Alphonsus, Cardinal Stritch. When he became Toledo's bishop, in 1921, he was the youngest bishop in the US. He was just 34. Stritch went on to become Archbishop of Milwaukee, Archbishop of Chicago, and, as Pro-prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, the first American to head a branch of the Curia. You'll find a good outline of the Cardinal's life HERE .

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I'll be posting at The Roving Medievalist tomorrow, about the Medieval section of the Toledo Museum of Art. It should be good.

The Diocesan Headquarters

Very good for an old warehouse. I like the statue.

A Slight Complaint About Parish Websites, and the Lack Thereof

I've been going through the diocesan website, which is excellent, looking for parish websites. The results are discouraging. Most don't have them. Some seem to have started them and lost interest. A couple of the links on the parish section of the diocesan site lead directly to advertising sites that have nothing to do with the parishes. When, lo and behold, I actually find a site, it's a mixed bag. Some are very good, some competant, some completely awful.
Let me tell you something. The internet, like it or not, is your first line of outreach. Someone new to the area is likely to go there first. If your parish doesn't have a website and the one next door has a good one, what do you think will happen? And another thing, I found some sites that bent over backwards to talk about how welcoming and open their "communities" were. Guess what? They're among the worst. They're usually poorly designed and boring as all get out. All that yapping is just going to drive people away in sheer boredom. Others just list events and news. Good, but don't forget to update. Your bulletin from September is not all that interesting in December. But at least they're all trying.
I attribute a lot of this to what I call The Toledo Time Warp. When I moved here, it was like stepping back in time. I felt like shouting "come on, people! Wake up. The sixties are over and so are the seventies." Building a website is not a terribly difficult thing. I had very little knowledge of computers before I started blogging this year. My family basically ignored the 20th century and was a bit uncomfortable with the 19th. I'm not, by nature, a technophile. Far from it. But look at what I'm doing here. Any parish has someone who can get the ball rolling. Get the youth group involved. If you don't have a youth group, don't bother. You need to concentrate on correcting that first. But do something. It's the beginning of the 21st century and opting out is no longer an option.
What should a good parish website have? Absolute minimum: 1. A good picture of the church building. A nice building is a priority for most people these days, contrary to what we all heard spouted in the seventies. If you have an ugly building ( And, oh, my, some of you do! ), use a good picture of some detail. Whatever looks beautiful. 2. Location, Mass schedule, office contact information. This is not negotiable, but some people forget anyway. 3. Everything else is just bells and whistles. Those are the essentials.
And, please! Skip the high-faluting "mission statement". We're all Catholic, we're supposed to know the Church's mission. Most people coming from out in the real world feel that way, at least. If this offends anyone? Too bad, you need to hear it.

An Amazing Resemblance

I got an e-mail from khammer a while back pointing out that Sts. Peter and Paul, in the Old South End, and St. Aloysius, in Carthagena are almost identical. Have a look at THIS . There's a slight difference on the spire and St. Aloysius has one door not three, but not much else. Now Sts. Peter and Paul was designed by Carl Schon and built in 1868. St Aloysius was designed by Anton de Curtins and completed in 1878. This is interesting. What was the connection?

St. Mary's in Tiffin

A regular reader of this blog, who I know only as khammer, sent some links about St. Mary's. They just celebrated their 175th anniversary. I borrowed the photograph from an internet gallery by Christopher Harben. You'll find it HERE . It's well worth a visit. This is a truly magnificent building. The murals, stained glass, and plaster ( or terra cotta? ) decoration are exceptional. There seems to be an altar missing, but the crucifix is a good one and the tabernacle's in the right place. If you look at the stained glass in the gallery of photographs, you'll find it's rather unusual. I can't seem to put a date on it. If anyone knows, please leave a comment. The parish website is HERE

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Running Late

I'm behind schedule but I'll try to add another post later, and some links. A reader e-mailed me some interesting material that I'm going through, including St. Mary's in Tiffin. I'll get something up about it as soon as I can.

Immaculate Conception, Old south End

A close-up of the ironwork on the doors. There are elaborate scrolls like this on all three double doors in front.
More posts and links this afternoon.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

A tondo of glazed terra cotta from the workshop of Andrea and Giovanni della Robbia. c1500. Louvre.

St. Michael's in Hicksville

I'm looking for pictures from other areas of the diocese. This one has a nice tower.

Merry Christmas

There are special posts at Just A Comment , with the Christmas story as illustrated in the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry, and at Triumphant Baroque on an Italian Nativity scene.

The Cathedral Gets Noticed

I just found a good review of the Cathedral on one of the most popular Catholic blogs. It's run by a group of students and graduates at Notre Dame and has the curious name The Shrine of the Holy Whapping . Matthew Alderman, who did the post, is a very good architect himself. His opinions are always worth noticing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

The St. Anne altar. Another good design by Joseph Huber. The marble work was done at Pietrasanta, in Italy.

St. James, on Colburn

This one had to be closed, but its memory lives on in the Old South End. The altar and a fine statue of St. James have been moved to Immaculate Conception, where they're treasured. I understand why parishes have to be closed now and then. It's a difficult and painful decision, like so many things in life. One thing, though. Even though I'm a staunch preservationist, when a parish is closed, I'd rather see the building torn down. It just doesn't seem right to put them to other uses.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Looks Different, Doesn't It?

The original plans for the Cathedral included a bell tower. This postcard sort of jumped the gun. Frankly, I wish they'd been able to finish it. It would have added so much to the design.

The Irish Madonna of St. Stephen's

One of Toledo's treasures is a copy of the Irish Madonna, acquired by Bishop Schrembs in Hungary and given to St. Stephen's Church in Birmingham. What was an Irish Madonna doing in Hungary? That's quite a story.
The original painting is in the Cathedral of Gyor, but it had come from the Cathedral of Clonfert, in Ireland. When Walter Lynch, Bishop of Clonfert, was arrested by Cromwell's troops, he was able to rescue the painting. Lynch had a particular devotion to the image and took it with him when he was sent into exile. He ended up serving as an auxiliary bishop in the diocese of Gyor. He died there and is buried in the crypt of the cathedral, near the painting he had brought so far. But the story doesn't end there. In 1697, a law was passed expelling all priests from Ireland, confiscating the churches, and outlawing the Faith. On March 17, 1697, the feast of St. Patrick, the image of Our Lady was seen to weep tears of blood. Remember, no one in Gyor had any idea what was happening at the time in Ireland, the original home of the image. That was discovered much later. Thousands of people flocked to the cathedral and observed the miracle. People of all faiths, including Protestants and Jews attested to what they had witnessed. To this day, Catholics from all over the world go as pilgrims to Gyor to pay homage to the image of Our Lady who cried for Ireland.
For a more detailed account of the story, click HERE.

St. Francis de Sales

Another good church interior to Toledo's credit. Please excuse the quality of the pictures. They were taken quickly after a weekday Mass, without tripod and with poor lighting. It was a cloudy day and not much light was coming through the windows.
The main altar, with some of the finest vaults in Toledo above it. At the base are figures of the twelve Apostles.

Our Lady's altar. To the left is one of Machen's paintings of the Stations of the Cross, probably the chief treasure of St. Francis de Sales. I'll post on them separately.
The St. Joseph altar. The statue is a real gem, perhaps the best in a church well-stocked with them.

The windows are mostly frosted glass, with stained glass borders and accents.

The ceiling vaults. Highly complex and very Victorian. I just have one complaint. The color used in painting the ribs and the columns is really awful. It detracts from the beauty of a good interior.

Coming Later Today

Interior pictures of St. Francis de Sales and an interesting postcard of the Cathedral.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Our Lady of Guadalupe

As painted on the side of Sts. Peter and Paul School in the Old South End.

Old Saint Patrick's

Another view to tide you over until I get the rush of the last few weeks under control. It's coming soon. Stay tuned. By the way, notice the dormers on the roof. They're really rather unusual.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

An Interesting Week

I should be able to resume regular posting tomorrow. I have some good material waiting.

Friday, December 1, 2006

St. Patrick's on Avondale

Here we have some of the best stonework in Toledo. I'll be posting more pictures and some comments this weekend.

A Few Useful Links

I'm adding some links to the sidebar today. The heading is "Resources" and more will follow.