Thursday, February 9, 2012

St. Raphael's

I drive by the St. Raphael ruins fairly often and I never get tired of seeing it. It was completed in 1821 and was built by Scottish highlanders under the leadership of their beloved bishop, Alexander Macdonell, the first Roman Catholic bishop of Upper Canada.
Unfortunately a fire destroyed the roof in 1970 and there wasn't enough money to repair it so a new, smaller church was built attached to the old part.
The graveyard surrounds the church as was the norm in the 1800's and early 1900's.
Beautiful dimensions to the building.
The little round window focuses your attention on the sky - look up to heaven, it seems to suggest. I'm sure the church was a place of inspiration and solace for those early settlers, who were so poor and worked so hard as they established a new home in Glengarry county. Many of their descendants are still here.

There was too much snow and ice to get right up to the church to get some interior shots - maybe I'll remember to do that this summer.


  1. So the poor, hard-working settlers could build a magnificent building like this but a wealthy modern society can't find the money to have it repaired? It's a fine ruin anyway and I look forward to seeing those summer shots that you've promised.

  2. It looks a very powerful ruin. The graveyard looks fascinating too!