Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 10, 2006
Artwork adorns St. Mark's Church
Stone church bears the same name as the town
St. Mark – April 25
By TED FITZGERALD
- Photo by Ted Fitzgerald
This icon of St. Mark embellishes his church
His writings are considered to be a handbook or guide to Christianity, concentrating on the messianic secret, concerned not so much with Christ's activities, but with his authority and miracles and the acceptance of Jesus as both God and man.
His story ends dramatically with the words of the angel at the tomb following the resurrection. Readings for the saint's feast day, a semifestive office on April 25, include greetings from "my son, Mark" in Peter's first epistle (5:5-14) and the final part of Mark's Gospel (16:15-20) where he remarks on some events between the resurrection and Christ's ascension.
The neat, symmetrical stone church dedicated to the saint in the town that also bears his name, although displaying the inscription AD1908, is old enough to qualify for a place in Professor Luc Noppen's classic Les eglises du Quebec (1600-1850).
The traditional 18th century building was actually constructed between 1798 and 1800, but was lengthened in 1908. It has the plan of a Latin cross with blunt transepts.
The stunning interior of the church - all in white with pale green and gold trim - is expressed in the form of a series of flattened domes, above the nave, transepts and semi-circular apse.
Artworks fit well into the d‚cor and were created over the life of the church by a series of noted artists. A glossy brochure and with luck, a tour with the pleasant parish secretary, is a prerequisite to fully identifying and appreciating these gems.
Authorities believe that much of Mark's Gospel is a record of the sermons and arguments of St. Peter, first among the apostles, and this theme is featured in the large, 1806 painting above the church's main altar.
In this, the treasure of the sanctuary, Peter is shown with outstretched arm, expounding to a crowd while Mark wearing red robes, is seated, transcribing the inspired words onto a tablet. The evangelist is also portrayed in a colourful, stylized processional icon that occupies a place of honour in his church.
As part of the Diocese of St.-Hyacinthe, St.-Marc shares facilities in the Unite pastorale des Riverains with the neighbouring west bank path along Highway 223 and St.-Roch further on with an aggregate Catholic population of the almost 5,500 people.
Masses are celebrated on a variable schedule, based on the season, between the three riverside churches with celebrations and activities overseen by Father Leonard Gariepy.
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.