Montreal Church Landscape


A Montreal church landscape and a church architecture that evolved during the last 375 years and that gave rise to many beautiful church building designs.

Church bells that still dutifully announce Catholic church services and religious artwork such as church stained glass windows and church sculptures to illustrate our catholic church beliefs.

A City of Montreal that was once called "la ville aux cents clochers" and many Montrealers who now profess no religion beliefs but who, according to Church Statistics, still attend Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve.

550x448Church in Le Sud-Ouest by RLB

Catholic Religion


Christianity is the religion of those who believe in Jesus-Christ, the son of God and the Messiah of the Old Testament. Christians are either Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Protestant.

The Roman Catholic church landscape is organised in a three tier hierarchy, the Pope, the bishops in their diocese, the priests in their parish and the Catholics. The Roman Catholic Church is the social institution that exercised the greatest influence and had the most impact on Montrealers during the last 375 years.

550x435Church in Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension by RLB

A church is either the body of Christ or a building. A basilica is a large and important church and a cathedral is the largest and most impressive church of a diocese, a Greek word that means administration.

An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank and an archdiocese is a larger and more important diocese. A diocese is a district divided into parishes or ecclesiastical districts. The diocese is under the authority of a diocesan bishop, while the parish is under the pastoral care of a parish priest.

Muslim Religion


Muslim is not a religion, a Muslim is a person who submits to the will of God and who follows the Islamic religion. A Muslim is « anyone or anything that surrenders to the true will of God ».

A Mosque is the Muslim gathering place for prayers and for worshipping God. Every Mosque has a niche in the wall that indicates the direction of the Mecca, the direction towards which Muslims must pray. Other common features include minarets and tall towers.

550X540Church in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve by RLB

Religion Jewish


Cote-Saint-Luc is home to a rather large population of Sephardi Jews. Large Sephardim groups also live in the Saint-Laurent borough and in the West Island. Shephardi Jews descent from Jews who settled in the Iberian Peninsula in the South West of Europe.

Hasidism is a Jewish movement founded in Poland in the 18th century. Many Hasidic dynasties live in Outremont. Finally, Cote-des-Neiges is home to a fairly important Lubavitch community, an Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement.

550x550Église Sainte-Louise-de-Marillac by RLB

A Synagogue is a building and a Jewish place of worship, also used as a place to study and as a community centre. The main rituals of Judaism are circumcision, bat-mitzvah, bar mitzvah, mikvah, marriage, death and mourning, Kosher foods and daily prayers.

Interestingly, the history of the Christian church, the Islam Religion and the Religion Jewish have the same origins, they each go back to the prophet Muhammad and to the patriarch Abraham. 

Buddhism Religion


The Buddhism religion and faith has been growing in importance in Montreal, along with the teachings of Buddha and of the many deities the Buddhism religion honours. Also more and more present in our surroundings, Hinduism, a polytheistic religion and Sikhism, a monotheistic religion.

550x735Church in Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension by RLB

Buddha temples are more modern, but they are still designed to symbolise the five elements. The square base of the the temple represents Fire, Air and Earth and the pinnacle on top of the temple represents water and Wisdom. 

Inside a Buddha temple, there may be a worship hall and a meditation hall both decorated with gold warrior type figures, but the statue of Buddha is always the focal point of interest. 

Church Landscape and Church Attendance


The spirituality, the "sacred" is related to different religious beliefs and religion beliefs  are related to religious symbols and architecture, that is to the tangible images or objects that express our mystical beliefs.

More and more Montrealers belong to minority faiths, attendance to religious services is dropping and the number of people with no religious affiliation is rising. 

550x545Church in Ville-Marie by RLB

Our parishes are abolished or merged, our churches are leased, sold or shared with other churches and our religious behaviour are now more private than public. Our Montreal church landscape is more and more secularised and Church influence is slowly decreasing.

Montrealers may not be attending organised religious services like they used to, but this doesn't necessarily mean they are any less spiritual. Private religious behaviour such as prayer, meditation, worship and readings of sacred texts are still present.

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Church Landscape by Rachel Louise Barry