Monday, December 31, 2007

Precious Mitres and Baroque Vestments

There's a very strong, but right on target, post on the breath of fresh air at the Vatican, at Shouts in the Piazza. I'd recommend reading it.

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

The Nativity window.

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

The side entrance on Maumee Street.

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

The vaulting in the Sacred Heart Chapel.

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

The tower staircase outside the choir loft.

The Plot Thickens

St. Mary's, in Edgerton, is looking more like an undiscovered treasure every day.
Kevin Hammer has discovered that two murals and a triptych altarpiece, there, were painted, in 1945, by John de Rosen, one of the 20th century's greatest painters of religious art. According to my source, the triptych is painted on a gilt background.
John de Rosen painted some of the murals in the cathedral, as well as at the cathedral in St. Louis. Possibly his most well-known work is the apse mosaic at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington. There'll be more on him later in the week.
Regular commenter "Holler" ( There's a story behind that moniker, but it's classified. ) confirms that St. Mary's is "spectacular". I have absolute confidence in his ability to spot a good church, though we might disagree on the level of some of the bad ones. He also reminded me of another story from my source. Apparently, the woodwork in the church was made from lumber harvested on land belonging to the parishioners. I've been told each family signed a piece of it.
This one must be photographed, come hell or high water.

The Leeper-Geddes House, Old West End

The Leeper-Geddes House was designed, in 1903, by Norval Bacon for coal magnate Clarence A. Leeper. It later belonged to the Geddes family. If you're old enough to recall the actress Barbara bel Geddes, "Miss Ellie" from Dallas, she was a member of that family.
The Leeper-Geddes House was home to the bishops of Toledo for a number of years.
Photos: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

The Wise Virgins' Award

....for good use of lighting, goes to St. Mary's, in Norwalk. What can I say? I love those blue lights.

The Orange Bong Award...

...with a marijuana leaf cluster for extra effort, goes to St. Paul's, in Norwalk. The cluster is added for having the worst resurrifix I've ever seen. It's not easy to make Our Lord look like he'd fit in at Woodstock, but it's been done here.
The primary thrust of the Orange Bong Award is to recognize the worst example of wreckovation. In that department, St. Paul's wins hands down for turning a nice, though a bit cluttered Victorian church into something that looks like a 60's flower child's wildest fantasy of a place to play their tambourines and get stoned.

St. Joseph, Paulding

Silent Night

I posted some pictures relating to the song at Frozen Music

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The "Knowing when to Stop" Award

The award for taking a Victorian profusion of decoration to just the point where it reaches perfection, and then stops goes to St. Patrick's in the Warehouse District. One more statue might be too much. If you'd had as many dowager aunts as I had, you'd realize just what a great accomplishment that is.

St. Peter, Archbold

This is different, especially the towers. The transept's uncommonly wide, too. Would someone please tell me it hasn't been torn down?

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

I ended up in the choir loft after Mass, this morning and took the usual massive number of pictures. I'm afraid the loft is an experience I try to avoid. It's part of the original plan of the church and was designed by Edward O. Fallis. He had an odd way with balconies of any kind, as anyone who's been on the one he built for the Valentine Theater will know. It's like stepping over the top of a ski slope.

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

Waiting in the Wings

I found the Three Magi cooling their heels in the Sacred Heart Chapel, at Immaculate Conception in the Old South End, this morning, and couldn't resist taking pictures.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

Portiuncula Chapel, Lourdes College

Immaculate Conception, Ottoville

HERE'S a nice webpage on the church's history.

The Energizer Bunny Award

The award for a parish that doesn't get nearly enough attention, is in a declining neighborhood, but manages to quietly and without fanfare get the job done in fine form, goes to SS Peter and Paul in the Old South End.

The "What's This Doing Here?" Award

The award for the most overwhelmingly impressive church to be found in a very small town goes to St. Michael's in Kalida.

First Annual Cat Amongst the Pigeons Awards

Over the next few days, I'll be recognizing the best and the worst of church design in the diocese. All views expressed will be based on my personal opinions along with years of studying such matters. They'll also be based on what I've seen, both in visits and in photographs. I'll freely admit I still have discoveries to make.
The compliments will far outnumber the condemnations.
Of course, there are a lot of awards I COULD have presented for fun. For example, the "Go Home, Dorothy, and take Toto with You Award" for the group I'm most sick of hearing from, and the Joseph Goebbels Memorial Award for hopelessly biased reporting. You can probably figure those out, if you care to.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Cathedral

Rosary Cathedral, originally uploaded by artbabee.

The Cathedral

Rosary Cathedral, originally uploaded by artbabee.

The Cathedral

Rosary Cathedral, originally uploaded by artbabee.

The Cathedral

Rosary Cathedral, originally uploaded by artbabee.

The Cathedral

Rosary Cathedral, originally uploaded by artbabee.

The Cathedral

2006-06-05 018, originally uploaded by lexioh.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

The Isaiah window.

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

A detail of the mural from the old baptistry.

St. Joseph, Galion

Aside from the usual problem with the spire, it looks the same. HERE'S their website.
This appears to be St. Patrick's church, in about 1911. The parish merged with St. Joseph's in the 1950's. Much simpler, but the design's just as good.

A Reminder

We're always looking for pictures from any parish in the diocese. Don't worry that they're not professional quality. Neither are a lot of mine. It's the building that counts.
E-mail me at
I'm not as mobile as I used to be, so getting out to a different church is like planning a military campaign, nowadays.

Our Lady of Mercy, Fayette

Simple, but very pleasant looking. They know how to landscape, too. HERE'S their website.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

Advanced Notice

I want to put this out here while i'm thinking of it.
At St. Mary's in Norwalk Ohio, we are going to be tearing down the former convent (called "The Century House). We can no longer afford the costs of maintaining the building. Before we tear it down, we will be having an auction that is open only to our parishioners, then in the following week (or whenever, the date has not yet been decided) there will be an auction open to the public. The auction is for anything and everything in the Century House that anyone wants. From floorboards to doorknobs to trim. Whatever is in there is up for grabs. It will be set up like a silent auction. Folks interested in old architecture or that collect/salvage things from old houses may esspeciially want to attend this auction. I will have more specific details once i return from the trip. For more information, please refer TO THIS PAGE ( on our website. Probably after the Christmas Break, i will have available a complete pictorial of the entire Century House and it's current state.

If you have any questions, you may e-mail me (the webmaster ( or call the Rectory @ 419-668-2005

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

Before you ask, yes, he does give rise to a lot of "dog in the manger" jokes.
All that's missing are the Magi, and they'll show up at Epiphany.