Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Parish In The Country

Coming out of Gatineau Park and heading to our next destination, our route led through the village of Chelsea, which is the local seat for the region of Les Collines-des-l'Outaouais. St. Stephen's Catholic Church is a landmark one sees coming, and we stopped here. The parish was founded first as a mission in 1840, then formally established as a parish in 1845. It offers mass in French and English, reflecting the bilingual nature of the area and its parish history. The present stone church dates to the 1880s, in a Roman Baroque style.

The bilingual history of the parish reflects itself in the adjoining cemetery, where French names are mingled with Irish names. Irish immigrants were coming into the Ottawa Valley throughout the 19th century, settling on both sides of the river, and their legacy continues today.

Here we have an example of new life- a young tree is springing up from the stump of an old tree in this cemetery.

I leave off with this view of the church's main entrance. The doors were locked, otherwise we'd have taken a look inside.


  1. ...a beautiful, historic church that I enjoyed visiting. Thanks so much.

  2. Stone structures are my favorite, and stone churches have a special touch of solidity to them. This is beautiful and that is s marvelous cemetery with much history buried 'neath those stones.

  3. The rock church is magnificent. I would love to attend a service there. (The cemetery, not so much!!!).


  4. The church is very beautiful. In the cemetery you can really see the different religions ... some graves have a cross and some a gravestones as commemoration.
    Very strange how little tree has grown ....

  5. Get the same problem here. Beautiful old church & churchyard

  6. Such a fitting place for a tree to grow out of an old stump!

  7. Hello, it is a pretty church! Have a happy day!

  8. That's a beautiful church and so is the cemetery.
    I like to visit this kind of cemetery with its old monuments.

  9. gorgeous. such history, i am sure of ... love all the details. ( ;

  10. @Tom: you're welcome!

    @Lowell: and it's such a lovely setting.

    @Janis: I find cemeteries to be quite peaceful.

    @Ella: nature finds a way!

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Bill: thanks!

    @Marie: new life out of old.

    @Eileen: it is indeed.

    @Jan: it appealed to me.

    @Beth: thanks!

  11. The church and its setting is one that I would enjoy exploring!

    1. Here is a link to a short guided tour of the church. https://ststephenchelsea.wordpress.com/organization/guided-tour-of-st-stephens-church/

  12. Nice photos, the young and old tree is heart warming. Huge cemetery.

  13. That is a really beautiful church!

  14. I love a church with an adjoining cemetery. There's something about it that just feels so right.

  15. A cemetery shows one aspect of the life of a community. This presents a long history of the town. I wish more communities could live in harmony.

  16. It is a beautiful church building. The cemetery is well kept!

  17. @Kate: this was the first time I stopped there, though I'd driven past it in the past.

    @Maywyn: it was a good sized cemetery.

    @RedPat: it is indeed!

    @Jeanie: I agree.

    @Red: me too.

    @Nancy: I agree.

    @Sharon: it definitely does.

  18. The church is beautiful, William.

  19. St Stephen's is lovely William, it's always nice to see such a well looked after cemetery.

  20. St. Stephen's Catholic Church holds a lot of history in those old stones. Beautiful cemetery and enjoyed your photos William. Thank you!

  21. I think we used to be so much more majestic. Great cathedrals, stone pillars and crosses in cemeteries, granduer in life and in death... We don't build them like this anymore.

  22. St Stephens is a beautiful church and great shots of the cemetery stone works ~

    Happy Week to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  23. Beautiful church and I like roaming older cemeteries.
    BTW: The poem on my blog is by Joyce Kilmer

  24. A place that sings of Canada! <3

  25. I love walking around ole cemeteries, and churches that look like churches.

  26. A beautiful church William. The entrance is impressive!

  27. @Karl: that it is.

    @Grace: it is!

    @Denise: you're welcome!

    @Sandi: we certainly don't.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @MB: I do too.

    @Cloudia: indeed!

    @Janey: I love both.

    @Marleen: it is!

  28. It's a shame you couldn't enter. The inside is probably as great as the outside.

  29. There are some beautiful monuments here, a whole quiet history of the region.

  30. Beautiful church. I tend to avoid cemeteries, though.

  31. Looks a beautiful old church, and churchyard.
    Nice selection of photographs.

    All the best Jan

  32. Almost perfect symmetry in the last picture.

  33. @Mari: from the photos I've seen online, it's quite a church inside.

    @Kay: it certainly has a lot of history.

    @Norma: I rather like cemeteries.

    @Jan: thank you.

    @Klara: indeed.