Saturday, September 18, 2004

(Formerly) Jesuit Windsor.

Just returned from a visit to Detroit's lovely Canadian neighbor, Windsor. My initial plan had been to visit a particular used bookstore downtown, but the place proved not to be at its stated address - or, alternatively, was not where Mapquest said it would be. (I prefer the second explanation.) Frustrated in that effort, I instead paid a visit to some Jesuit-related sites in Assumption Park and then strolled around the campus of the University of Windsor. Assumption Park is located on the site of an 18th century Jesuit mission of which nothing remains; however, a stone cross and a historical marker in the park recall the Jesuits' presence there (photos of both may be found here). The Park also includes a striking abstract sculpture of what I assume are meant to be four Jesuit Black Robes, though from their posture (marching in line with hands clasped in prayer) and garb (they appeared to be wearing hoods) they could easily be mistaken for Benedictine monks. As for the university, it started life as a Jesuit institution, Assumption College, later passed into the hands of the Basilian Fathers and is now a secular, public institution (though the Basilians maintain a presence there through the affiliated Assumption University). Also in the area is Assumption Church, the oldest Catholic parish in Ontario (founded 1767) and one that was established by Jesuits, though now under Basilian auspices as well. The park, university and parish are all set in a very pleasant residential neighborhood fronting on the Detroit River itself ; definitely worth a return visit. AMDG.


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