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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is the Most Beautiful Catholic Church in Canada?

Please let me know what you think. Sometimes the locale of beauty is surprising. Whereas I was somewhat disappointed in St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto, I was impressed by St. Dunstan's in Charlottetown. Bigger diocese doesn't necessarily translate into more beautiful church. Living now in the Ottawa Valley, I have detected a certain degree of clannishness when it comes to speaking of the relative beauty of Notre Dame Cathedral and St. Patrick's Basilica in Ottawa. In this case I don't think it's all about the church! But, again, beauty is a funny thing. For instance, there is a certain simple elegance to be found in the rather undecorated, or perhaps unencumbered, St. Columbkille Cathedral in Pembroke (my diocese), which proves that you can't have it all, can you? - free and light and ornate.

But I have not been all over this country. So I really don't know what's out there. And, if there is one thing we cannot be objective about it's churches. Why? Because they are too important to us. But I am convinced that there is so much beauty out there to behold. The many drives I have made through Quebec assure me that just over that hill there is treasure to behold.

One factor is setting. This is my church, St. Hedwig's in Barry's Bay,
 if you can pick it out.


  1. The Church of our Lady Immaculate in Guelph, Ontario was amazingly beautiful. I went to high school in Guelph but never entered a Catholic Church (anywhere!) until I entered the Church some 30 years later. A year after that I was in Guelph and decided to pop over to see 'that church on the top of the hill', and was blown away. There is a lot squeezed in there.

  2. You are certainly right about that!

    I just checked out some pictures of it. Some of these can be found at

    good suggestion.