|St. Ignatius Mission.|
If you are traveling anywhere near Glacier National Park in northwest Montana this RVing season, plan a short cultural stop in the small town of St. Ignatius, about 50 miles north of Missoula, on Hwy 93.
By the early 1890s, Indian peoples and missionaries began construction on the building using local materials. The “million bricks were made with local clay, the lumber was cut in nearby foothills, and the striking interior murals” were created by the mission’s handyman … and extremely gifted amateur painter.
|58 frescos decorate inside of Mission.|
“Brother Joseph Carignano (1853-1919), an Italian Jesuit who was the cook at the mission for many years, painted 58 frescoes on the walls and ceiling of the church, despite no formal art training and only being able to work on the murals in between his regular jobs,” wrote Jan Krause in the Lake Shore Country Journal out of Big Fork, Mont.
In addition, there are two very special paintings of the Salish Lord and Lord’s mother (in Native American form) located in the back of the mission. The grounds also feature a log cabin, now a museum, which was the original residence for the Sisters of Providence when they first arrived in the 1860s to start the girls’ boarding school.
St. Ignatius Mission
300 Bear Track Ave.
PO Box 667
St Ignatius, MT 59865
Phone: (406) 745-2768
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. in the summer; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the winter; Sunday Mass – 9:15 a.m.
Directions: Approximately 50 miles north of Missoula, just 2 blocks off Hwy 93 in St. Ignatius. Signs are on the highway, and the mission can be seen from Hwy 93.
This post has been updated from a previous post in 2011. For additional RV Lifestyle articles by Julianne G. Crane, go to RVWheelLife.com.