Mount Saint Michael's

I first noticed Mt. St. Michael's on my daily commute down the new North-South Corridor. It perches on a hill overlooking the highway like a large brick layer cake, down to the white architectural "frosting". Mt. St. Michael's has been on that location in 1878 and, according to the official website the area was primarily used as a farm, feeding Gonzaga University from 1881 to 1915. It was used as a training ground for Catholic priests and in 1915 they started building a scholasticate to educate and train Jesuits, which had to be closed in 1968 as the number of Jesuits entering service dropped off dramatically. Another fun fact is that the seismograph from Gonzaga was moved into the basement of Mt. St. Michael's in 1930 and was an important source of data for seismologists. In 1977, Mt. St. Michael's was bought from the Jesuits by the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen. Today, there is a convent of Marian Sisters, a k-12 school, chapel, small historical museum, and large library. It is the only place in Spokane that I know of where you can hear Mass in the original Latin as the organization is run by sedevacantists, who do not adhere to the changes in the Catholic church since Vatican II. 

Mtstmichaelsfullviewpainting
 It just goes up and up and up!

It just goes up and up and up!

 The frontage of the building is enormous. Birds flitted along the walls, perching on the gutters and architectural molding, adding an air of lightness and fun to the heaviness of the brick.

The frontage of the building is enormous. Birds flitted along the walls, perching on the gutters and architectural molding, adding an air of lightness and fun to the heaviness of the brick.

 What a doorway!

What a doorway!

 The statue of the angel over the main door interested me. The shield it carries say "Who (is) like God?" in Latin and is the literal translation of the name Michael in Hebrew, so perhaps this is the Archangel Michael.

The statue of the angel over the main door interested me. The shield it carries say "Who (is) like God?" in Latin and is the literal translation of the name Michael in Hebrew, so perhaps this is the Archangel Michael.

 I followed a trail down to the grotto, passing under shady trees, which was a relief on the hot day. 

I followed a trail down to the grotto, passing under shady trees, which was a relief on the hot day. 

 A shady path into the trees is always a temptation.

A shady path into the trees is always a temptation.

 The grotto was built by an injured Jesuit brother who promised to build the Virgin Mary a grotto if he were healed.  He clearly kept his promise.

The grotto was built by an injured Jesuit brother who promised to build the Virgin Mary a grotto if he were healed.  He clearly kept his promise.

 Leaving the outdoors....

Leaving the outdoors....

 The chapel on the second story of the main building.

The chapel on the second story of the main building.

 I really liked these angels on the wall. It isn't often you see a brunette angel!

I really liked these angels on the wall. It isn't often you see a brunette angel!

 Sketched this while sitting on a pew. I wonder if painting in a chapel is considered sacrilegious? I doubt it since a service wasn't going on and I was surrounded by so much art aimed at beautifying the chapel ("glorifying god" is probably how it would be termed).

Sketched this while sitting on a pew. I wonder if painting in a chapel is considered sacrilegious? I doubt it since a service wasn't going on and I was surrounded by so much art aimed at beautifying the chapel ("glorifying god" is probably how it would be termed).

I spent an enjoyable few hours wandering Mt. St. Michael's on a hot summer afternoon. The view from the top of the bluff that it is perched on is incredible. I will have to go back at some point and paint the land stretching out below!

In other news-I'll be at the South Perry Street Fair this upcoming Saturday from 10 am-8 pm. Come by and say hi! I'd love to talk to you!