Sunday, June 24, 2018


The Dominican University College participated again in Doors Open this year, and I stopped in. The building dates to 1899, when it was first opened as a convent and a house of study. It houses a parish, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, and the members of the Dominican priory serve today as faculty for a small university offering bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in the fields of theology and philosophy. This is the church sanctuary. A priest had come in to prepare for a mass a little while later.

The altar had some very impressive carving, done on site in a woodshop on the grounds.

This painting is of St. Dominic himself, and resides in one of the corridors.

One of the students took me about on a tour. The student body is small- over a hundred in total, but that's to be expected with two programs. This room is a cafeteria for the students, and beforehand was used for meals by the priory. Before the Vatican II reforms, priests would eat in silence.

Another room beyond that is today a lounge used by the priory. The student explained that the priests unwind here in what's a comfortable space- reading, perhaps playing cards (no money involved, obviously) between classes or in the evenings. This formidable chair was a gift from a Speaker of the House of Commons during Laurier's time, the very chair he used during his tenure in the job. 

The church sanctuary itself is not as long as it originally was. It was shortened at one point, and the college library was inserted inside. Some of the stained glass of the extended sanctuary remains in place within the library, and so if you're working at a desk, you might have these right beside you.

The library stocks items pertaining to the disciplines taught, but also related fields like history and literature. It has quite a collection, some of it dating back centuries, such as these items that were in a display case, going back to the 1500s.

I came out to the workshop area, where I had a chance to chat with the man who had carved the sanctuary altar, among other things. The walls were covered with various tools, things that my dad would appreciate- he would have made a good carpenter himself, but seems to have lacked the patience to have gone through apprenticeship. 

The building design is wrapped around an inner courtyard, planted with trees, One spot as I took my leave allowed the visitor to step out onto a balcony and have a look around.


  1. worth the stop, lovely details.

  2. Wonderful tour, your photo of that long corridor is great..

  3. Hello, beautiful church. So many lovely details. I love the carving and the gorgeous windows. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

  4. That's a beautiful building and a major organization with a long and interesting history. I'm sure this was an interesting place to visit.

  5. Stain glass windows in a room create a feeling of solace. Nice photos

  6. I would like to visit that place. We have a feeling of harmony, peace.... silence... : )

  7. Another lovely and historical church series of photos ~ such history!

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

  8. A very interesting spot, William.

  9. So interesting to see William, fascinating to see books and things from the 1500's!

  10. Beautiful. I like the clean white...long hallway.

  11. Lots of interesting details in this pretty place.

  12. That is a lovely sanctuary, William!

  13. @Tom: it is quite a place.

    @Jan: I like long corridors like that.

    @Eileen: thank you!

    @Red: I enjoyed the visit.

    @Maywyn: thank you!

    @Marie: that it was.

    @Catarina: it was quite tranquil.

    @Carol: definitely!

    @Marleen: I thought so.

    @Betty: I had never been inside before, though I knew it included a church.

    @Grace: I tried reading them out loud, but my Latin is atrocious.

    @Janey: you wonder who sees to the place. They do a good job.

    @Sharon: it has a lot!

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @RedPat: yes it is.

  14. It's hard to see the detail of the wall at the front, are those little crosses or just texture?

    Love that pristine hallway. I want to walk down it!

    And those items from the 1500's...really? Wow. I just saw things from almost 600 years ago, intact and in a language I can understand. That kind of stuff amazes me.

    Is that Jesus at the end?

    1. You know what...I don't understand tha language. Is that Latin?

  15. Truly amazing. I was taught most of my life by the Dominican Nuns.

  16. I wondered what had happened to the stained glass from the sanctuary. At least they had sense enough to let it remain in the library. The chair resembles a throne.

  17. A wonderful tour, William. And thanks for giving me some help with my blog today.

  18. It looks like you got a very nice tour. I like your shot of the long, white hallway.

  19. i love the long white hallway ... so clean and clear. i think sometimes just clear lines would be the way to go. doesn't seem so mess or over done. stain glass windows, always a fan. ( :

  20. @Sandi: they look like stylized crosses to me. Yes, the language in the text is Latin. And I believe the statue in the courtyard is Mary.

    @MB: Catholicism is outside my personal experience, so I do seem to feel like an outsider.

    @Bill: it certainly is.

    @Mari: there's still some stained glass in the sanctuary, just not at the altar. And since a Speaker presides over Parliament in quite a similar way, a throne is apt.

    @Catalyst: you're welcome!

    @Kay: thank you!

    @Beth: thanks!

  21. Scholarly place, William. I like the stained glass, all of it really. Great place to earn a post grad degree

  22. What a beautiful church.
    I love the carving and the windows are lovely.

    All the best Jan

  23. I like the simple interiors of the chutch.

  24. Oh, you're right -- that altar is beautiful. And I would have loved to be in the workshop to see them at work. Some very gifted men there.

  25. It is a beautiful church William. I was admiring the altar particularly and how lovely you were able to speak to the man who carved it.

  26. This Doors Open idea is awesome!

  27. @Cloudia: it would be!

    @Jan: it is indeed.

    @Klara: so do I.

    @Jeanie: it's quite a place to visit.

    @Denise: he was an interesting fellow.

    @Jenn: I certainly think so.