STOCKHOLM, Sweden: The 1628 Warship “Vasa”

NORWAY: Bergen and Coastal Cruise, Trondheim and Oslo

Father John Gagnier and Father Robert Schrader

August 3 – 18, 2011


Father Schrader bids us welcome.

Entrance to the cultural museum on the way to the Vasa.

The Vasa Museum is in the background.

The Vasa was a warship launched from Stockholm harbor on August 10, 1628.

It sank within minutes and lay at the harbor bottom until it was salvaged in 1961.

While the three “masts” in the picture are a reconstruction,

the original ship,under restoration for fifty years, can be seen in the building.

The ship attracts visitors from all over the world.

These are reconstructions of sculptures on the ship.

The stern of the ship.

At the top, wooden horses flank Swedish royal crest.

A sailor of the Vasa

Fr Gagnier with wax reconstructions of sailors who died in the sinking.

This is a smaller model of the ship with its sails.

This is a panoramic view of the museum.

Fr. Gagnier in the play area with one of original guns.

A 17th Century diving bell that recovered the guns.

A 20th century diving suit used in the salvage in 1961.

Our next stop was the city of Bergen, Norway where we boarded our ship,

the Kong Harald, named after the current King of Norway.

We stayed only a few hours, as it is a “sinful” city!

An interesting “sign” of Norwegian life, no gas shortage!

Father Schrader reigned in downtown Bergen.

This is a government building in Bergen.

This is our ship, the Kong Harald.

Fr. Gagnier with portraits of King Harald and Queen Sonja.

A typical Fjord in Norway.

Melting snow begins its journey to the sea.

It becomes a waterfall on its way.

Fr. Gagnier with an excited and patriotic Norwegian troll.

Many trolls like to pose for pictures.

A “stave church” of the 12th Century.

Inside the stave church, a reconstructed altar.

Haltdalen stave church was built after 1170 moved and changed in 1704,

demolished and rebuilt in Trondheim in 1883

moved to Sverresborg 1937, and belongs to the Museum of Knowledge.


Fr. Gagnier at the door of the stave church.

Remains of a castle.

Explanation of the above castle.

A “green” roof insulates this house.

The plaques on the bed list those who died in it!

Upstairs in the house was an old trunk, dated 1752.

An ornate doorway and a green roof decorate this house.

The museum recreated a “town square.”

We “ride the bus” with the locals at the museum.

Rorvik parish of the Church of Norway (Lutheran)

Many bridges connect islands to the mainland.

On the top deck, a ceremony marked the crossing of the Arctic Circle.

Those who wished were “baptized” by King Neptune and crew with ice water.

Monument near Hestmannoy (Horseman) Island marks the actual Arctic Circle.

Hestmannoy (Horseman) Island

The Hurtigruten ships serve as a delivery service to the many islands.

Here, a extra stop was made to drop off special bread for a wedding.

Passengers were brought by  ferry to and from our ship.

A Lutheran chuch at Bodo.

“Welcome to Bodo Harbor.” Kong Harald ship docked here.

A front view of our ship.

We attended a Viking Festival at this museum, next 5 photos.

The museum is built in the style of a Viking chieftain’s house.

At the museum, we enjoyed a Viking feast.

A toast with mead (honey wine) in the chieftain’s seat.

Hagar the Horrible?

At the grindstone

The sun sets as the bus takes us back to the ship.

Another troll poses for a picture at the Marine Museum.

Exterior of the Marine Museum

A seal at the marine museum

A fishing boat at the Marine Museum

“The Arctic Cathedral” is a Lutheran parish church

at Tromso and is not actually a cathedral.

There is a wooden Lutheran Cathedral in the city of Tromso.

We stopped here on our return for a Midnight Concert.

Interior of the Arctic Cathedral

Hymn Numbers on the wall and votive candles to light, but no statues.

A rainbow appeared over the stern of our ship at Tromso.

Our Lady Catholic Cathedral at Tromso with Bishop’s Residence


Interior of the “Var Freue Kirche” / “The Church of our Lady” in Tromso

It is the Cathedral of the Territorial Prelature of Tromso, an area of over

67,000 square miles with only 1,775 Catholics or 0.4% of the population.

This is the cathedral of the northernmost Catholic Bishop in the world.

This is the tabernacle in the church,

with a “Church Jubilee” banner at right.

The church, built in 1861, is now celebrating 150 years.

Behind is a statue of Saint Peter with his keys.

This is a view of the bridge and Arctic Cathedral from Tromso harbor.

A monument to Roald Amunden, polar explorer at Tromso

Rudolph, the Red-nosed reindeer and his wife

This is a museum marking the northernmost point of Europe.

This is the monument at the northernmost point of Europe.

A view of the monument from across the fiord.

Ecumenical Chapel of Saint John, northernmost in the world.

 The Thai Museum is a small room with ornate decorations,

a museum built in 1989 in order to remember King Chulalongkom

of Siam (Thailand), who visited Nordkapp in 1907.

Oscar II, king of Sweden and Norway, traveled to Nordkapp in 1873.

 This began tourism, when travelers from all over the world began to go as well.

This obelisk was built there in 1873 in order to recall the visit of King Oscar II.

Another troll poses for a picture.

A fiord flowing toward the Barents Sea

A member of the Sami Tribe with a reindeer

Rudolph, a rear view

View from the bus

Another troll poses for a picture.

A dog with three trolls in the background

Two trolls pose for a picture.

A modern art sculpture at the harbor.

Norge” is Norwegian for Norway. At a museum in Vadso, three fishing boats and

Father Schrader are in the foreground. In the background is part of a dirigible which took explorers on the first flight over the North Pole on May 12, 1926.

The 16-man expedition included Roald Amundsen, the expedition leader and navigator, Umberto Nobile, the airship's designer and pilot,

polar explorer and expedition sponsor Lincoln Ellsworth,

as well as polar explorer Oscar Wisting who served as helmsman.

A model of the Norge hangs overhead.

The other side of the airship’s cabin

A front view of the airship designed by Umberto Nobile of Italy

New York Times reports on the death of Roald Amundsen, (1872-1928)

who was lost on a flight to rescue Umberto Nobile, (1875-1978)

 who was actually rescued by a Swedish ship.

Fr. Gagnier remained in contact with home via e-mail.

Deacon Joe Placious sent his Sunday homily,

which Fr. Gagnier gave in German aboard ship.

A bilingual bus to the very edge of Norway

At the Russian-Norwegian Border

 “Comrade,” at a souvenir shop.

Our ship is seen in the harbor at Kirkenes.

At this point, the ship turned around and returned south to Bergen.

We got off at Trondheim, one stop before Bergen, then took a train to Oslo.

A monument to the Viking explorers

“Welcome to Mehanm 71 degrees North.”

Some people went swimming and were awarded

certificates for swimming in the Arctic Ocean.

A 3-language sign in our bathroom: Norwegian  English  German

Saint Michael’s Church in Hammerfest: built in 1958 by German volunteers;

It is the northernmost Catholic church in the world.

St. Michael’s Church interior. Note the “gong” right of sacristy door.

The polar bear is the symbol of the city of Hammerfest.

The location is shown in  Latitude and Longitude.

A very nice view of the Kong Harald

A Jazz Festival

At Hammerfest: a “bi-polar” picture, with Artic hat and Antarctic shirt.

Norwegian architecture, a hotel.

On our return south, we stopped at Tromso again for a midnight concert

at the Arctic Cathedral. This is view of our ship from the Cathedral.

Reboarding the ship at Tromso after the concert.

1:30 AM: A final view of the Arctic Cathedral from the ship

A tour bus returns to the ship from an excursion.

The crew provided towels to wave at the returning bus.

In a conference room on board the ship,

we celebrated Mass on two Sundays for the passengers.

Note the “cross” made of round magnets on the whiteboard.

After Mass, we posed for a picture with a sculpture we called

“The Flying Nun.”  Note the “polar opposites” of our uniforms!

The portrait of Queen Sonja on the stairway landing is seen in the mirror.

Arctic scenery

Sunrise in the far North

SIGN AT HAMMERFEST HARBOR  Freight terminal” “Submission” “Disclosure”

Hammerfest Lutheran Church as seen from the ship

The Hurtigruten ship Finnmarken is now a museum one can tour.

The Vesteralen: as other Hurtigruten ships passed by,

passengers would wave at each other.

Three Vikings, two American, one Norwegian

Posing with local artwork

More artwork to pose with

An Arctic Full Moon

Fr. Bob Schrader with full moon.

Fr. John Gagnier with full moon.


St. Olav’s Church in Trondheim was a Catholic Cathedral

which became Lutheran after the Reformation.

It still looks very Catholic, but interior pictures were not allowed.

 The modern St. Olav’s across the street is the Catholic Cathedral.

Monsignor Albert Tomasz Maczka, Can. Reg., Vicar General is the pastor

and a member of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine

Interior of St. Olav’s Cathedral

The old St. Olav’s can be seen across the street.

After the train ride from Trondheim to Oslo, Fr. Schrader found his own photo shop.

Fr. Gagnier found a Viking troll,

and another troll with souvenirs.

There is even a store that sells stress.

There were many floral tributes to the people killed in a bombing on July 22.

Damaged government buildings were shrouded in scaffolding.

Another troll poses for a picture in Oslo.

The Lutheran cathedral was hosting a Jazz festival in the evening.

The next day at noon a Lutheran minister celebrated Communion,

after an organ concert. She was an Asian adopted by Norwegian parents.

The organ was beautiful to see as well as to hear.

The Lutheran cathedral is quite ornate.

On the wall left of the pulpit are children’s tributes to those who were killed.

The Cathedral had a café that wrapped around its grounds.

“Delicious homemade food and freshly baked cakes.

 All Rights Reserved.      Welcome”

Near the cathedral was a Pilgrim’s Chapel for those

who walk from Oslo to Trondheim, 242 miles!

At another Oslo Protestant church, Mary is kept under lock and key….

…….but her picture is prominent at the Catholic Cathedral.

This mosaic recalls the visit of Pope John Paul II in June 1989.

A modern statue of Saint Olav, (995-1030)

the king who brought Christianity to Norway.

Interior of Saint Olav’s Catholic Cathedral in Oslo.


The Bishop’s chair.

Fr. Bob poses with the priest in the sacristy after Mass.

At left is a reliquary containing the forearm of Saint Olav.

Tabernacle and Altar

Norway Music Institute, where Arild Remmereit studied.

He is the new conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic.

A view of the music school

A student orchestra at a rehearsal

Vikings are everywhere…..

…..even in the glass elevator at our hotel in Oslo.

This is a view looking down at the dining room at the hotel.

The glass elevator is seen on the right.

A view from our hotel room in Oslo

Oslo: clock tower by day and by night.