“TheCeļotājs” –
Saldus – a "Drop of Honey" in Courland
Saint Peter and Paul’s Roman Catholic Church – ANNO 1999 –
This church has a very unusual construction history –
Jaņa Rozentāla iela 16, 
Saldus district, Saldus, LV-3801
Lat: N56.66208, Lon: E022.50150
The existence of a Roman Catholic Church in Saldus is first mentioned in 1461. However, a congregation was established only in 1923. In 1937, Pope Piux XI established the Liepāja bishopric which included Saldus. The congregation built a church hall in 1953 when Dean Alberts Leitāns purchased Liela iela 49 and adapted it to the needs of the congregation.
The hall housed the Maltese Aid Society, a soup kitchen and clothing distribution center.
In 1998, Saldus congregation was nominated for the position of the residence of the Dean of Central Kurzeme.
The construction of Saint Peter and Paul’s Roman Catholic Church was commenced in autumn 1999. For a long time, the church building remained unfinished until the time when Andrejs Mediņš was appointed Dean. Due to his initiative and energy, the building works were finished within less than a year's time. The event has brought visible changes into the lives of the townspeople of Saldus.
The church was built on donations collected in Latvia and in foreign countries, and the works were finished in 2008. In order to achieve the most expressive result possible, Latvian artists and craftsmen were also involved. The author of the retable is Sandis Aispurs, a fourth year student at the Academy of Arts of Latvia who performed the entire work from the design idea sketch to the installation of sculptures. The size of the piece is truly impressive 3x8 meter.
Creating a piece of art to be displayed in church has always presented an immense creative challenge for an artist, as it requires not only high artistic value but also a deeply spiritual approach. The church Saldus is not the only venue where Sandis Aispurs's religious art is displayed.
One of his major works is the altar at the Saint Magdalena's Church in Riga “a diploma piece at the Riga Crafts School”. In a further development of the idea started in the Saldus church, the artist has now completed a plaster-cast relief titled "The Way of the Cross" consisting of 14 parts, each about 1X1.5 meter in size. Each station on the “Way of the Cross” is an expressive and emotionally loaded piece of art.
In 1999, the exterior was completed, but the interior was still under construction. When Andrejs Mediņš was appointed Dean in 2008, with driving initiative and energy, its current interior or worship area was completed with in a week, with the help of the Saldus congregation, local school craft classes and other local help. They not only completed the interior walls, but built and installed the pews, completed the alter area in a week’s. The plaster-cast relief that hangs behind and above the alter area was not only casted but hung with in the week. The alter area pieces are made from granite pieces with polished services, these were all made and installed in a week. Located in the middle of the floor is an apple, which marks the exact center of the church.
The churches soup kitchen is located in the basement and is held every Thursday of the week for those who are in need. They also hold a clothing dispersion one Thursday of each month.
Revised: 07/19/2013 – 01:29:55