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Through My Lens: Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley

And this photo shows the view you have over the Fraser Valley from Mission Abbey.

The Fraser Valley is a major agricultural area of British Columbia. Vegetables, berries, mushrooms, pork, dairy, and poultry ― you name it, they grow it. Much of the produce I buy at the West End Farmer’s Market comes from here. And here’s your stat for this post: although less than 2 percent of the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve is located in the Fraser Valley, more than 60 percent of the province’s agricultural revenue comes from this region.

Through My Lens: Fraser River at Mission

Fraser River at Mission

Earlier this year when I was looking through my photos of Mission Abbey, I came across this one of the Fraser River. The river’s source is at Fraser Pass near Mount Robson, highest point of the Canadian Rockies. It is BC’s longest river and the tenth longest river in Canada.

Happy Easter!

Mission Abbey Church Altar

Mission Abbey Church, Mission, British Columbia, April 2012

Through My Lens: Mission Abbey Church Interior

Mission Abbey Church Interior

It’s Palm Sunday again. To celebrate the day, I’m posting a photo of the interior of Mission Abbey Church.

The architectural structure of the church is based on the Greek cross: there are four arms of equal length. At the end of each arm are windows that correspond by their colour (blue, red, brown, and grey) with the four elements I mentioned the other week: water, fire, earth, and air.

Through My Lens: Mission Abbey Bas Relief

Mission Abbey Bas Relief

It’s the Fifth Sunday of Lent and today’s photo is of one of the bas reliefs that adorn the interior of the church of Mission Abbey. These bas reliefs were created by resident monk and artist Father Dunstan Massey.

Father Massey began his art studies at age 15 under Jack Shadbolt at the Vancouver School of Art. At 18, he began his journey towards the priesthood by entering the monastery at Mission Abbey. Although he was willing to give up his art to devote his life to God, the Abbot had other ideas and made him the Abbey’s resident artist.

In addition to these bas reliefs in the church, Father Massey’s sculptures, paintings, and frescoes are displayed throughout the Abbey’s buildings.

Through My Lens: Mission Abbey Window

Mission Abbey Window

For the Fourth Sunday of Lent, I’m posting a photo of some of the stained glass windows of Mission Abbey. They were designed by Lutz Haufschild, a German-born and trained Canadian glass artist.

There are 64 windows in all, with each group of eight representing one of the four elements: the blue windows are water, red is fire, brown is earth, and grey is air.

Through My Lens: Mission Abbey Door

Mission Abbey Door

For the Third Sunday of Lent, here’s a photo of the door to the Mission Abbey church. The abbey grounds are open to the public during daylight hours, and the church as well, when not in use by the monks.

Through My Lens: Mission Abbey Bell Tower

Mission Abbey Bell Tower

Mission Abbey is located on a 200-acre site overlooking the Fraser River. Benedictine monks have lived, farmed, and prayed here since 1954.

The abbey church, tower, and seminary were designed by a Norwegian architect named Asbjørn Gåthe and were built over a period of 25 years, culminating with the church, which was dedicated in 1982.

For the Second Sunday of Lent, here is a photo of Mission Abbey’s bell tower. It was dedicated in 1958.

Through My Lens: Mission Abbey Church

As is my custom, this being the Season of Lent, I’m going to post a series of church photos. Unlike previous years, this year I’m going to focus on a single place of worship, one I feel an appropriate follow-up to last year’s tour of European cloisters. And, unlike previous years, this year we’re on this side of the pond.

And so, for today, the First Sunday of Lent, here’s a photo of the church of the Mission Abbey, located east of Vancouver in the town of Mission. Its official name is Westminster Abbey and Seminary of Christ the King.

Mission Abbey Church