The Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, 1866—1925 : The "Old" Cathedral
II.14b. Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Helena, MT. ca. 1885
Gift of Coty Family and St. Mary's Catholic Community, Helena, MT, Apr. 2013.
The back of photo identifies it as from the Coty Family, approximately 1896. However, Bishop Brondel acquired two oil paintings that hung behind the statues of Mary and Joseph in 1891. This photo then dates before 1891.
The interior of the 1876 structure featured two side altars dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Joseph. A large chandelier hung from the center. In the summer of 1890 Bishop Brondel while in Rome bought William Ewing's oil copy of Raphael's Madonna degli Ansidei (Our Lady of the Tower). It was secured in a 8'x6' gilt frame by Calkins & Featherly and hung behind the Blessed Virgin's side altar. The Virgin sits with the infant on her lap. To her right is St. John the Baptist in camel hair; to the left is St. Nicholas. The original hangs in the national gallery in London. This copy is stored in the basement of the Cathedral office building , but was torn in 2008 when St. Helena School was being demolished.
Bishop Brondel obtained another oil painting of the Holy Family which hung over St. Joseph's altar in the Cathedral of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. On 02 Nov 1891 Bishop Brondel requested such a painting from the Sisters of St. Charles, Doittignes, Belgium, where his sister was a member. It is similar to a painting in St. Joseph's Chapel at the Cathedral of the Holy Savior in Bruges, Belgium. The gilded plaster frame measures 8'6"x 6'6"..This painting has also sustained damage and is stored in the Cathedral office building.
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Sacred Hearts Cathedral interior before 1891Sacred Hearts Cathedral interior before 1891
Sacred Hearts Cathedral interior after 1891Sacred Hearts Cathedral interior after 1891
Copy of Raphael's Madonna of the TowerCopy of Raphael's Madonna of the Tower
Holy Family painting - Bruges chapelHoly Family painting - Bruges chapel