Wednesday, 12 August 2015

See the Basilica Again for the First Time

If you live in St. John's or have visited St. John's or have only seen St. John's in pictures chances are you have seen the Basilica. It is hard to miss as one of the most recognized structures in the province standing tall on top of the hill, a beautiful part of the downtown skyline.
But you have never seen it like this before!

During the month of August the Basilica Heritage Foundation is holding a special series of escorted tours. "Fleming" is a one-may play based on Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming, the man who was responsible for bringing the Basilica to reality.

Actor Michael Nolan as Bishop Fleming

I took the tour myself a week ago, I brought my mother along for the ride as she has only ever saw the church from the outside.  Having actually been inside the church before and attended services I considered myself somewhat an expert over her in this situation. (just don't tell her that ok?)

"Well here it is folks, I know it doesn't look like much now but if you could just imagine for a minute what it will become...."

Actor Michael Nolan plays Bishop Fleming and he gives the tour based on different periods throughout the building stages of the church. Nolan does a great job in relaying what must have been a very emotional 14 years for Bishop Fleming, from the time the first cornerstone was laid in 1841 until the church was completed 14 years later.

It is entertaining to hear someone not just tell you what it was like back then, but to take you with them. To not just tell you what someone did but to show you how they must have felt. 

Listening to the sheer determination that went into the project it is hard not to feel motivated to take on the World when you leave. (or at least that project you have been putting off for months!) 

Let's say you wanted to build a big stone structure today, you know because you feel like renovating.... Let's just call and book a crane, some big trucks, a backhoe, cement mixers.....

Nolan as Fleming describing the
architectural details inside the Basilica
Wait, what do you mean I can't have any of that stuff? Then what do we do? It makes me wonder if we could bond together as a community this day an age to complete such a daunting task as Fleming, his workers and the townspeople did back then. ( I certainly don't think they would take too kindly as fish for currency on payday today thought)

Go see Fleming and you will find out every painstaking detail on how those big massive stone blocks got to where there are. And then tell me you are not motivated enough to go home and tackle a project, any project really!

Bishop Fleming's determination to see his dream into reality and the hard work and commitment of the townspeople left me awestruck.

 The tour is only $10, considering the cost of anything else slightly entertaining in the city, this is an amazing deal. (And much cheaper than any motivational speaker)

So please take my advice and take this tour!  (Note part of the tour starts outdoors, so dress for our lovely weather!)

The tours run August only from Tuesday to Saturday at noon. Visit the website here for more info.

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