As I said at the outset, there are 3 attractions worth seeing at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Ruth & I had not seen them before our recent visit to this city that is Washington’s 2nd largest. We had never been on this campus before. I have already written about the Bing Crosby house on this campus and its art museum called The Jundt. The 3rd thing worth seeing at Gonzaga is its church. It’s possible to see all 3 in one visit.
The St. Aloysius Church on campus is the core of a Jesuit Parish. This is, after all, a Catholic University. Ruth tried to find out where enrolled students stand on the religious issue, and they told her that it’s opened to people of all faiths. It is a fairly small campus by today’s standards. A self-guided tour brochure is both available and useful.
The outside of this church is typically impressive. It has instantly recognizable twin bell towers and what appears to be a Greek-style portico at its entrance. There are lots of windows seen outside and in. The outside windows are in the twin towers and elsewhere and the ones inside that are most impressive are of stained-glass. They are reason enough to visit this church. This parish church was dedicated in 1911.
I knew nothing about Aloysius Gonzaga, the man this church is named for, before visiting this campus. He was born in Italy in 1568. His family was wealthy and celebrated when he decided to become a Jesuit before he was 20 years old. To do this he had to renounce his title of Marquis. Shortly after becoming a Jesuit and abandoning his fortune he decided to care for plague victims, and he died at the age of 23. Five stained glass windows about him and his life are above the high altar. Other relatively unknown catholic icons like recently canonized Mother Cabrini are celebrated in stained-glass. I recognized Mother Teresa of Calcutta in another window. The stained-glass windows in this church are exceptional. Six of them in the nave show events in the life of Jesus’ mother, This church with 2 impressive organs seats 800 with additional room for 300 in the balcony. It’s altars were shipped from Italy but were delayed entry to the United States due to a quarantine that we can all relate to thanks to COVID.
This parish church is definitely worth seeing and is visible from several points in the Spokane area.