St. André Bessette Church photo
St. André Bessette Church procession takes place after icon blessing.
St. André Bessette Church photo
St. André Bessette Church procession takes place after icon blessing.
 As Archbishop John G. Vlazny’s tenure as leader of the Catholic church in Western Oregon comes to a close, many parishes are reflecting on some of the special times they spent with the man.

A few parishes share their favorite memories.

Members of Ascension Church in Southeast Portland recall fondly the archbishop’s wisdom, prayers, love and support during a pilgrimage to Spain and France during the World Youth Day group in 2011.

“He will forever hold a special place in each of our hearts,” said Veronica Rangel, secretary of Ascension Parish. “We will miss him.”

St. Boniface Church volunteers carefully document notable events at their parish, for an extension museum and online archive.

Photos and memories of the archbishop’s visits will be documented with the rich history of the parish in Sublimity.

In Downtown Portland, parishioners and clergy at St. André Bessette Church cherish a day in August 2009 when the archbishop joined them for the blessing of an icon of Christ the healer.

After the Mass, the group processed around the block, presenting the icon to the four corners of the world and prayed for healing and justice.