Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of Date, 2003
Shrine guide uncovers hidden spiritual treasures
The Novalis Guide to Canadian Shrines, Revised, Edition by Leonard St. John, Novalis, Toronto, Ont.,214 pp, Softcover.
Review by TED FITZGERALD
If readers plan to visit Canadian holy places, itís an indispensable adjunct to any travel kit.
Following this is a resume of the role of shrines in Canadian history from the days of New France to post-Vatican II.
Listings for individual sites include access directions and a description of the shrine. Where applicable, for example at the several shrines to Ste-Anne, pilgrimage dates (July 26) are noted and some entries contain references to camping (for example, Albertaís Lac-Ste-Anne) or accommodations and eating places in the area.
Contact addresses, phone and fax numbers are included for some of the larger shrines. And, handy in areas where there are a number of sites ó for example, Quebec City, Montreal ó large scale maps are included. Other helpful information under most entries includes notes on the historical background of the area and ďAlso of InterestĒ comments.
A welcome aspect of the book is the identification of shrines that tend to be overshadowed by major tourist attractions. So visitors to the famous Pointe-au-Pere lighthouse/museum complex in Quebec might be unaware of its proximity to a Shrine to Ste-Anne.
Or at Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, travellers tend to seek out the historic parish church with its religious/woodcarving museum, perhaps not realizing that a fine Cavalry and Lourdes Grotto are present at the nearby cemetery.
Useful appendices include summary lists of all shrines by province, a list of those that honour St. Anne, and a very short glossary of terms relating to Church architecture.
In general, this book is a pleasure to read, even if travelling to a shrine is not anticipated in the near future.
Some however will wait with impatient anticipation for the Canadian spring to return to make their own pilgrimage to some of these fascinating, historical northern holy places.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.