St. Ignatius Mission Church
Within the novel, Archilde and his father Max Leon are the only characters who visit the St. Ignatius Church because his mother and brothers have completed rejected the way of the jesuits. Archilde and Max are the two characters who help us to interpret the impact of the Jesuit missionaries because their feelings of the Jesuits shift from the beginning to the end of the novel. For Archilde’s brothers, the mission church was symbolic of their experience at the federal boarding school and they never wished to return back.
This church was built in 1893 by the Jesuit missionaries who depended on collection funds to help fund the construction.
The paintings were mentioned within the novel the first time Archilde's revisits the mission after coming home from Oregon. This moment in the book reveals the painful memories many children had at the federal boarding school:
"So, after years, he had returned to the beginning of life, and first of all it was a shock to discover that as he walked through the familiar dark halls with their niches of colored statuettes and their odor of resinous incense he felt quivers of fear. It was as nothing compared to what he had felt as a boy of six or seven, but it was a shock just the same to one becoming a man. On the next occasion he dared to examine the temporal paintings on the walls--St. Michael with his spear at the demon's throat and hell fire gleaming; the Nativity; the flight into Egypt, and many others. From a distance these pictures glowed with color but when he came close and saw how flat the effect was, it disappointed him" (McNickle, 103).
This quote reveals the feeling of many painful memories, though it's vague in describing the exact reason why.