Historic Alexandria church painting featured on t-shirts and hoodies

A painting of a historic Alexandria church is getting renewed attention.

Knights of Columbus St. Finnan’s Council 10640 is selling t-shirts and hoodies featuring the painting by renowned artist Stuart McCormick depicting the original St. Finnan’s Church around 1885. The Knights of Columbus are using the t-shirt and hoodie sale to raise funds for the Coats for Kids program during the winter months, and for food programs that assist people in need.

Stuart McCormick (1905-1992) was born in Glengarry and was a self-taught landscape and commercial illustrator. Loosely associated with the Group of Seven, McCormick was inspired by the Ontario landscape and painted in a style like A.Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley, Arthur Lismer, and Tom Thomson.

On June 27, 1959, the citizens of Cornwall presented Queen Elizabeth II with McCormick’s painting, The Long Sault Rapids, Canada, before 1959. The painting depicts the Long Sault Rapids on the St. Lawrence River between Cornwall and Iroquois. Those rapids disappeared with the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. The painting remains in the possession of The Royal Collection Trust, which looks after the art collection of The Royal Family.

The original St. Finnan’s building, depicted in McCormick’s painting, was built in 1833 when Alexandria was still known as Priest’s Mills. The first mass was celebrated in it on December 25 of that year. It was replaced by the current St. Finnan’s Church, which was constructed between 1883 and 1885. St. Finnan’s was the cathedral of the former Diocese of Alexandria and Alexandria-Cornwall from 1885 until 2020. In 2021, the church was designated as a Minor Basilica.

To order a t-shirt or hoodie depicting the painting of the original St. Finnan’s Church, email [email protected] or call Cameron McCormick at 613-678-0942. T-shirts are $30 each and hoodies are $55 each.

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