Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Cathedral of St Helena

Extreme  peace and beauty in unexpected places!

I would expect to find a Cathedral such as this in Europe – it’s expected there.  I’ve got visiting Cathedrals and historical buildings on my brain, I’m going to ROME and VENICE amongst other places in just a few weeks.

It was a pleasant surprise to find such a beautiful Cathedral on the hill overlooking Helena, Montana this past week.

This photo was from my first evening in Helena, during a driving tour past the state capitol building and around town to show me a bit of the city.

It was such a glorious evening (Oh yes, temps do cool down to blissful in Montana in the summer!) that I begged Kerri and Bryl to please pull over so I could get some photos.

The spires on the Cathedral are so tall that it is nearly impossible to fit the whole thing in the camera unless you are farther away, so across the street I went.


Dang! Too many trees!


Too much parking lot!


And the bells do chime on the hour and half hour!

But the best by far was coming back after our Last Chance Tour Train adventure, after Saturday evening Mass was over, but the doors still open, for a peek at the inside.

The sun was easing its way to the west, hitting those glorious stained glass windows at just the right angle for all of the colors to sparkle throughout the sanctuary.


Awe inspiring!

As people watching is one of my favorite pastimes, it is also heart-opening to me to watch people in their places of worship.  I’ve believed many things in my life, but so far find myself reluctant to tie myself to one school of belief, sect, creed or dogma. 

I have deep spiritual leanings, but can’t latch on to one label of religiousness over another. Yet I love holy places.  I love the open prayerful hearts of the people and their faith in something greater than we are.  I visit churches, temples and cathedrals in other countries as often as I can, and I sit and ponder the lives of the people that worship and have worshiped there.

The last time I attended Mass was an early morning in November in Cusco, Peru.  I get the same feelings of reverence, respect and connection when visiting a historic Jewish Synagogue. Faith, and respect of each other's faith should unite us not divide us, and those are the feelings I get when I am inside these beautiful buildings representing the faith of the people.

I have stood in the temple grounds in Bali, watching the beautiful Balinese people go through their rituals and feeling connected to their human spirit and love of life even though I am not Hindi.

I have stood atop Mayan and Incan temples in Mexico, Belize and Peru, knowing that the people who lived and worshiped there loved their families, longed for happiness and believed that there was something greater watching over us all.

I have stood at the feet of the giant Buddha on a trip to Japan in my early 20s.  I felt what the people felt even though I didn’t speak their language.  Our wishes and longings were the same.  We were different but our hearts were one. Visiting the temples in Japan first opened my mind to the fact that there are MANY walks of life out there, perhaps believing that their way was the only way.  Or that their way was the way that worked for them, a tradition of forefathers passed down through the generations.

All humans should have the ability to choose which path they wish to follow.

And from that moment I chose love. No labels. No categories.  No Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Catholic or any other label.  I choose HUMAN.  And LEARNING. And connecting to others, one by one.


Cathedral of St Helena in Winter.

Wow.  Not sure where all of this came from on a Sunday morning,  but as this blog is my journal, I think it's important that I also share some personal heartfelt thoughts.  Please, no preachy comments in the comments section.  Please respect my beliefs as I respect yours. They are not up for debate, and I would never comment on your personal faith of choice.

You can find the rest of the photos from the beautiful Cathedral of St Helena in the slide show below.

I can't wait to explore these holy places in Europe during our cruise.


The view from where I type!


I love the pockets of cloud!


Yesterday’s accomplishments!

50 kits have been assembled for the A Little Bit Hexie workshop aboard the Brilliance of the Seas in just a few weeks!  It was great fun putting these together.  I still have needle/pin felt thingies to put together, but those will be used for BOTH kits so I’m waiting on those for now.  Inside each kit is a needle threader and a bobbin of very blend-in-able bottom line thread, also to be used with both projects.

I am kicking this kit thing out of the ball park this weekend, getting as much done as I can.  Today I start the applique kits.  And it all begins with 200 base squares in 4 fabrics.  Chick Flick Movies on Netflix all day!

And oh, the problem with the A/C  SOLVED!  Of course, it took the A/C guy coming out and charging us weekend fees to fix it.

It seems a spider…one silly lone little spider…crawled into the conductor, compressor, flux capacitor and fried himself, taking down the whole unit.

The part was replaced, and we now have A/C back up and running. 


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

I love how one idea sparks another, and another, and another! All I wish is enough time to sew it all up!

Bricks and Stepping Stones quilt shared by a student in our Helena Montana workshops last week. Free pattern available under the free patterns tab at the top of the blog.

I love seeing all of the colors you choose for your quilts, so inspiring! Isn’t this black on turquoise gorgeous?

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

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  1. Thanks for your thoughts Bonnie. I agree!
    Love the pics of the cathedral. Have a nice rest of the weekend on your mountain.

  2. Thank you @ Lakegaldonna! Have a wonderful weekend yourself :)

  3. Lovely thoughts, and perfect for a Sunday morning.

  4. Peace is where you find it. Thanks for sharing.

    A spider? a squirrel maybe, but a spider !

  5. Love the music you selected for this post. LIz in SC.

  6. Latch on to God, put Him front and center of your life. It will please Him and give you peace.

  7. This is not preachy, this is agreeing with what you stated. My husband does not belong to a church, but he has more faith than most I have met who do belong to a church. I belong, but through laziness and health issues, I have not gone in way too long. I work for Hindus for more than 20 yrs. I have seen more Christian acts from these people than I have from professed Christians. John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. This is something I have believed for a very long time. Worship is where you feel that connection. Thank you for sharing your blog, thank you for the beautiful pictures of the cathedral. Peace be to you and prayers for your eye condition. Not for healing, I do understand that, but for strength, for wisdom, for courage.

  8. Fabulous photos, thanks for the serene tour this Sunday morning.

  9. You never cease to amaze me with your love of life and amount of work you accomplish! You have a beautiful heart Bonnie, and we are blessed to get to know you and share your life by reading your blog. I may never see your face, but I consider you a long distance friend. I've learned much from you, and seen pictures of places I can only hope to visit. Bravo Bonnie! You bring much happiness to folks. Thank you.

  10. Bonnie,
    You are the first person in my long life that I have heard express MY feelings so completely!. Thank you for sharing. We are all one!

  11. A lovely, thoughtful post--thank you. :)

    I'm still laughing at the spider in the flux capacitor! How many jiggawatts it must have absorbed! (It is so nice to read blog posts by someone my age--we get the same jokes!)

  12. Holiness is found in many places and in many people. It does not surprise me at all that you recognize it and honor it when you find it. Thank-you for sharing your heart with us.

  13. Lovely post Bonnie, so happy that you were able to come and visit us in MT. Spending a day sewing with you has been on my bucket list for a very long time, it was SEW much fun and I'm loving working on my first true scrappy "talkin turkey" quilt. Reading your blog is an inspirational start to the day, thanks for sharing your many talents with us, have a wonderful day on that beautiful mountain.

  14. Another good quote from Maya Angelou. I agree with your sentiments vis a vis faith and religion. Would that everyone was so tolerant.

    Now, about Venice. It's going to blow your mind. I don't know exactly what I expected, but it was along the lines of dirt and trash and oily water in the canals. There was none of that. Every single cigarette butt left by careless tourists was quickly picked up and disposed of. The water was not stinky and there was no garbage floating in it. It was just breathtakingly beautiful, every square inch of it. And when you think of the encroaching water and how it is situated, you wonder how it ever got built and how it survives. With rising ocean levels, we may be the last generation who will be able to enjoy it. I am extremely jealous. I would love to see you once again in my lifetime. There will be plenty of beautiful buildings, including churches, for you to drool over.

  15. There are many places I've visited that I'd like to revisit, but Venice is very high on that list! It is amazing!

  16. I do not belong to any one church, have been to many and never kicked out of one, except when I was 10 years old!!!! I have long since forgiven them for that action, so it is not a burden for me. I love all spiritual places of worship, even your beautiful mountains, trees, and water, Bonnie. That is your special place and I am happy you actually found it!! You spoke my heart with this post and I thank you for it.

  17. Reminds me of the churches you see driving through western Kansas.

  18. Love your comment "respect of each other's faith should unite us, not divide us". Thank you for expressing what I've been struggling to put into words.

    Enjoy your chick flicks today! I'm in the sewing room for the first time in weeks, and am so glad not to be outside in the 100° weather!

    ~Brandy in Walla Walla, WA
    brandizzle7133 at gmail dot com

  19. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your beautiful photos of this holy space.

  20. My Grandma went to mass at the Cathedral from the time she was a girl. She was a very devout Catholic and found great solace in her faith. It's a beautiful church. About a year ago I read Ken Follett's Pillars Of The Earth and can't look at cathedrals the same way since. What back breaking work and time went into creating those old cathedrals built centuries ago. Even though the book is fiction I think it was well researched and gives a person pause as to the magnitude of work it took to build such a structure without today's modern equipment. The book also explored the political side of religion...very interesting. Worth the read.

    Your view and quiet from your porch probably feels as close to God as a Sunday spent at church...at least that's how I always feel in nature!

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to Helena. I hope you get to come back some day! We enjoyed having you! Diane H.

  21. Thank you so much for publishing your thoughts about faith and unity. The more people talk publicly about respecting each other and focusing on what we have in common the better off we will all be.

    - Dawn in Portland, OR.

  22. Love your open-hearted post, and love the open-hearted reader responses, too!

  23. I decided some time ago I was just not cut out for organized religion. I think of myself as a very spiritual person however. I find God & peace in my surroundings. Looking out across the fields, watching my horses graze, finding beauty around me, being grateful for what I have. I can certainly connect with you on that & I loved reading your thoughts.

  24. What a beautiful cathedral - thanks for showing us this wonderful place.

  25. What a beautiful cathedral, take lots of photos on the cruise, I love to 'travel' with you I get to see so many wonderful places, thank you Bonnie

  26. What a beautiful post! You have said exactly how I feel. (My mom always said 4 walls and 2 doors do not make a good Christian, it's how you treat people in your everyday life that does, and you have that wonderful, sharing, caring heart that would make any higher power pleased)

  27. I always love your Quote of the Day, but today's is just wonderful. Thank you!

  28. Having lived now 68 years and been on a spiritual search in churches and out of churches I am with you Bonnie.. I have discovered my own spiritual inner world and have found that love and peace is all that matters and I am content with that. Thank you Bonnie for expressing it so clearly and thank you for sharing the wonders you discover as you travel.

  29. Bonnie, I totally get where you are coming from. It sounds to me, you are connecting spiritually all over the world. Consider yourself blessed. Did you ever wonder why you are drawn to the mountains?

  30. Bonnie you are right on about religion and life. I have my morning coffee and talk to you every morning. Of course the only way you answer is through this blog. Have a wonderful day. Say hi to your Mom.

    Ann (with the knee in Alaska)

  31. Beautiful Comments this yesterday on beliefs. Love the Cathedrile. Did you find out when it was built? This is such a new country compared to Europe where most of them are.

  32. Thanks for such a beautiful essay on faith and religion. The pictures of your view of the Blue Ridge reminded me that all of the earth is a temple as well. Peace be with you today and all days.

  33. ACs have evolved over the years just as have sewing machines and computers. With all the electronic sensors, it is not unheard of. More common is a mouse or other small rodent getting inside and chewing the wires.

    The First Instance of an Actual Computer Bug Being Found was on September 9, 1947. At 3:45 p.m., Grace Murray Hopper records the first computer bug in her log book as she worked on the Harvard Mark II. The problem was traced to a moth stuck between a relay in the machine, which Hopper duly taped into the Mark II's log book with the explanation: “First actual case of bug being found.” http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/September/9/

    The term in fact originates not with computer pioneers, but with engineers of a much earlier generation. The first example cited in the 20-volume historical Oxford English Dictionary is from the Pall Mall Gazette of 11 March 1889:

    Mr. Edison, I was informed, had been up the two previous nights discovering 'a bug' in his phonograph - an expression for solving a difficulty, and implying that some imaginary insect has secreted itself inside and is causing all the trouble.

    It seems clear from this that the original ‘bug’, though it was indeed an insect, was in fact imaginary. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/was-the-first-computer-bug-a-real-insect

    I am glad you shared your view of faith. I believe that if more people respected not only other peoples' religions/faiths, but also their race, sexuality, etc., the world would be a much better place for everyone. To me tolerance doesn't do it. You can tolerate a person even if you hate him/her. To me respect reaches further. I don't want to just be tolerated, I want to be respected.

    I like the content of your blog and the way you share. This is why yours is one of the few blogs I still follow.

  34. Hi Bonnie. I loved watching your slide show of the beautiful Cathedral in Helena, MT, it brought tears of joy to my eyes. 36 years ago my DH and I were visiting in Helena and ran into this beautiful Cathedral. I was drawn to go inside, and I sat down....to meditate and pray. You see, I was having trouble getting pregnant but I'm telling you, while in this serene place of peace and beauty I heard a message in my mind telling me that I would have a baby girl. And 11 months later, I did! She's now 35 years old and unfortunately cannot seem to carry a pregnancy. So watching your slide show is bittersweet for me but I loved seeing it all the same. Thank you for sharing.

  35. Beautiful post, Bonnie. Love it is!


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