AtoZ Blog Challenge – W – An Important Wall in Chicago

I invite you to follow this blog after the #Challenge is completed. I will return to posts on gardening, writers and their books, and personal essays on things that make my life rich and interesting.


In Chicago, one of the most important places for me personally is the Church of Ascension on LaSalle Street. Ascension was founded in 1857 as a mission of St. James Church (now the Cathedral of the Diocese of Chicago). Since 1869 the parish has been in the forefront of the Anglo-Catholic tradition in the Episcopal Church, which celebrates the ancient heritage of the Church of England. The exterior wall of the church has a stunning sculpture of Christ hanging on the cross. In my new novel, Facing East, there is a scene that mentions this incredible witness to they city and all who pass by.

“There was a bag lady standing on the steps of the church one time. She asked me for money and I told her I didn’t have any, which wasn’t true. Have you ever noticed the magnificent sculpture of Jesus that hangs on the exterior wall of the church facing LaSalle?”
         “I suppose I’ve seen it, but, no, I don’t know it.”
“Underneath the sculpture of Christ it says, Is it nothing to you, all that pass by. With my imagination, I can see myself standing at the pearly gates being asked, “Do you remember the day you refused to help me?”
         Robert raised his hand to hail a passing cab. “I’ll vouch for you if needed.” He smiled.


AscensionExtThis post is dedicated to Fr. Gregory Norris who was my spiritual director for many years. In that time he became a dearest friend. He retired from Ascension, esteemed by all. He taught me how to glance at Jesus throughout the day! He lives in Texas, and continues to love and serve the Lord in the Russian Orthodox Church. If you are in Chicago on a Sunday, you will be blessed by worshiping in this holy place.

About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her:
This entry was posted in AtoZ Blog Challenge April 2015 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to AtoZ Blog Challenge – W – An Important Wall in Chicago

  1. I loved that snippet about that lady. Good post. 🙂
    And thank you for visiting my space. 🙂

  2. Wow. Planning to visit Chicago for the first time this summer. I’ll try to find this place. Who couldn’t use a miracle? I’ll make sure to have lots of change!

    • Not sure a bag lady will appear for you, but this statue and the interior of the church is worth seeing. Wish I could meet you in Chicago and we could take an architectural boat ride together or….so many things to do, eat, enjoy. Have fun. If you have time to read the new novel, Facing East, before you go, I think it would add to your journey. Have fun. Green with envy over YOUR trip.

      • I’ll try. It’s my husband’s bucket list item to see Chicago. We’ll be crossing the northern part of Michigan and taking the ferry across the lake. Need to see Green Bay, too. We’ll drive around the Lake to Chicago and then cross back into Ontario in Detroit. Not a lot of time to check out the architecture, but I’ll try. We should be there in early August.

  3. Hi! Returning your A to Z visit, thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I am glad I got to stop by and read your post, it’s a lovely one.

  4. noelleg44 says:

    Another place to see when we are there! I am planning to try to see the U boat that Bob Byrd wrote about for his “U”.

  5. What a great series for the A to Z blog challenge. I do have a deep and abiding love for all things Chicago, so have greatly enjoyed reading your posts. I’ve not ever seen a blog like this which connects the research about a novel to portions from the novel, so I think this is one of my favorite writer’s blogs ever!

    • You made my day with this generous comment. This made all the hard work that it takes to create the posts and get them in the queue. Thank you for leaving such a great compliment. I hope you will follow me into the months ahead with posts that will materialize.If you liked the posts, I hope when you have time you will read Facing East and let me know what you think. Would love to meet you in Chicago for a Chicago style Pizza. They are the best.

  6. It would be worth it going to Chicago as soon as I could fit it in just for this place. You made me want to visit it, experience it. Great post. Wow. And just 3 more letters left!

  7. Ruchi Singh says:

    Lovely post. Happy A to Z 🙂 the tail end!!

  8. jazzfeathers says:

    That’s a very nice little Church. Not a place I’d expect to see in Chicago. It seems so different from all the rest of the city.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s