Frontal at St. Ignatius Mission
Summer vacations always include at least one stop related to Ecclesiastical Sewing. This year’s trip included a stop at the St. Ignatius Mission. The Mission is in the tiny town of St. Ignatius, MT, at the southern edge of Flathead Lake, and about forty miles north of Missoula. This is one of those remote churches that have been on the “Must See” list. With a trip to Glacier Park, it was the perfect time to visit.
For those interested in seeing the inside of a beautiful church, the St. Ignatius Mission is a must. The artwork inside the church is quite amazing, especially when one knows a bit about the history. The photos of St. Ignatius Mission give a glimpse of what is in store when one visits. The fifty-eight wall murals and paintings on the ceiling, the side walls, and behind the altar tell many stories from the Bible and the lives of Saints. The murals were all painted in the early part of the twentieth century by Brother Joseph Carignano (1853-1919) from the Mission, whose primary job was that of cook. With no formal art training, but a great amount of energy and dedication, he created the astonishing murals that decorate the sanctuary. They are stunning!
Other items of beauty in the Mission are the high Altar with the Agnus Dei at the center. And of course, one hopes to see examples of Ecclesiastical Sewing on a high altar. I was not disappointed. This high altar has a lovely and delicate example of Church Linens in the form of a scalloped super frontal.
Notice how the scalloped superfrontal has a cross worked at the point of each scallop. It is difficult to tell what the remaining design details in each scallop are, as the photos had to be taken from a distance. The center design of each scallop might have either a sacred heart or wounded heart worked into the design. It is unknown whether the work was done by hand or machine.
The choice of the linen superfrontal is perfect choice for the St. Ignatius Mission. The paint colors in the church interior are light and airy, and when combined with the colorful painting, there is a delicacy to the church. The weather was hot, over 100 degrees for a summer day. The use of a brocade or silk for a superfrontal might be nice, but these fabrics could quickly become too heavy, especially for a summer day with little to no air conditioning. This scalloped linen superfrontal seems to fit the church perfectly.
If you happen to be traveling through Montana, near Missoula and the southern end of Flathead Lake, be sure to add a stop at the St. Ignatius Mission to your itinerary.
Solo Dei Gloria
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