My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Monday, July 22, 2013

Visit to St. Ignacius Mission

The second day I was at National Bison Range, I went on a guided tour all the way to High Point, which, of course is the highest hill on the refuge.  From there we can see the town of St. Ignacius, as well as the St Ignacius Mission which really stands out against the rest of the town because it is the only reddish building and is much larger than the rest of the buildings.  I was told it was very beautiful and historic and had fresco paintings inside it.

The entrance

 So, one day in late May I took the short trip over to see it. It was pretty amazing inside.  Built in the 1890's, it has 58 original paintings by Brother Joseph Carignano on the walls and ceilings.  That alone makes it remarkable but this church was established to serve the Indian tribes in the Flathead Valley and are still closely associated with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The pulpit area

Picture at front left of the church

The view to the back of the church

Closer view of part of the wall

One of the small pictures on the walls
One of the many windows
Salish Madona
 There is more history outside on the grounds. Two cabins remain that housed the first sisters and the priest.

Original cabins dating from 1854

The cabins can also be visited

I loved the graphic look of the roof shakes and moss

Pictures documenting the lives of local Native Peoples are in the cabins

I'm not sure what this statue is of - but I don't think its St Ignacius
 I wouldn't travel far to visit churches or most museums, but I do enjoy visiting different attractions in the area in which I'm working.  I also learn things I wouldn't learn otherwise and understand the history and culture of the area better.