Edmonton is one of the largest northern urban centers in the world. Located in Canada, Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta. The city has a strong history as a trade center, and it served as the last major stop for the Klondikers during the Gold Rush. This is why we Edmontonions call our city "The Gateway to the North"

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sacred Place #6 St. Joseph's Basillica

I am not catholic and I know very little about this church. I CAN tell you that this is where Wayne Gretzky was married.

The following is taken from wiki;

St. Joseph's Cathedral Basilica is a minor basilica in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The basilica, located just west of the downtown core is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton and is one of the largest churches in Edmonton. It is the only basilica in Alberta.
Of architectural note are the 60 stained glass windows depicting scenes from the Old and the New Testaments and from the church's connection to St. Albert.

For almost three decades the basilica was known as the church without locks. It was open 24 hours providing a sacred space for worship and quiet prayers while its pews gave refuge to the tired bodies of homeless people. However, in the early 1980s, the church without locks had to close at night. The number of people attending perpetual adoration declined while on the morning of Feb. 28, 1980 an arsonist set the altar and crucifix on fire, causing smoke and water damage to the whole building. It was the darkest hour in its history. To remove soot and smell, all the stones inside the church had to be scrubbed. Its prized possession, the Casavant Brothers organ, was sent to Quebec for cleaning and repairs. Clean up and repair costs reached $250,000.

It also had its share of fame when parishioners shrugged off the controversy and international publicity surrounding the wedding of hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky to actress Janet Jones, both non-Catholics. About a hundred people objected to the ceremony being held at the basilica but many more applauded the Church's openness.

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