Monday, May 8, 2017

Catching up... Sedona - 4. CHAPEL OF THE HOLY CROSS

This one kind of got to me.  I was raised Catholic, but don't really go to Mass. I have my faith and my beliefs, but don't attend church services unless I'm invited.  This works for me.  But the Chapel of the Holy Cross is not only a Sedona Architectural Landmark, my father-in-law was involved with this architectural achievement.  So I wanted to visit it for it's beauty and also for my kids and grand kids to see a bit of their family history.

There is very little color inside the chapel - this painting and the red votive candles, as well as the four lengths of fabric framed on the side walls, were about it.  The rest is earth tones and quiet colors.

These aren't stained-glass windows - they are clear (see above), looking out to the red rock hills and greenery.

I loved the very simple alter with the small bronze crucifix and votive candles.

Stations of the Cross - these are in all Catholic Churches.  These were unusual, made out of railroad spikes:

There are twelve Stations, one to six were on one side wall, and seven to twelve were on the facing side wall.  Beautiful and simple.

There are no windows on the side walls, but these wall hangings reminded me of stained-glass window panes:

This whole church visit, "tour" that I took, walking around, looking at everything, I kept fighting tears for some reason, and I am again as I write this.  I don't know why it's making me so emotional.  As I stood there looking at this beautiful bronze sculpture of Christ on the Crucifix, it was hard not to burst out in tears.  ???   It was just beautiful.

"Head of Christ in Granite" from Cathedral in Chartres, France:

There were other crosses here and there in the chapel:

Pretty planted flowers outside the doors:

On one side looking down from the chapel we saw this HUGE house - and it's beautiful gardens and water features.  I want to live here:

Below are a couple of things I found on-line about Robert Dewell, my kids' grandfather, regarding this project.  The first is information about him receiving an Award of Honor for his participation:

The American Institute of Architects, in 1957, saw fit to recognize the work by rewarding its designer with a special citation for sculpture, at the same time conferred Awards of Honor upon all those responsible for designing and erecting the chapel, including Anshen and Allen, architects; the Bishop of Gallup, owner; William Simpson Construction Company, contractors; Marguerite Staude, donor; and Robert D. Dewell, structural engineer. 

This link is to an article about the history of the Chapel, and the link itself is the sentence that explained what Robert Dewell did on the project:

Technical aspects of the design were addressed by Robert D. Dewell, a civil and structural engineer based in San Francisco.

This link will take you to a YouTube video that was shot from the air by a drone.  It shows the chapel from all angles:

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Truly an interesting adventure for me, both doing the research and then visiting The Chapel of the Holy Cross in person.

From me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!   😇⛪✝😇

NOTE:  I know that some people reading this will be uncomfortable with my feelings and disagree with my beliefs.  I never apologize for or debate my religious or political beliefs.  To each his own...  Visiting the chapel for the architectural experience alone would still be worth the visit.  It's close to town, a self tour, and it's free.  It is, after all, just a building until we bring our own personal histories inside.


  1. You said you didn't know why you were so emotional touring the chapel and seeing all the crosses and beauty there, but I believe it was simply the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart and drawing you close. Be blessed.

  2. You can live in the Mansion shown on your blog today. It was for sale for $29 million a few years ago by the Cosmescu family in 2012. Maybe it hasn't sold yet. LOL

    I don't know why anyone would be uncomfortable with your feelings and disagree with your beliefs. They are YOUR feelings and beliefs and you don't have to apologize for them. We visit the Chapel every time we are in Sedona.

    1. Thanks, Clark! I did have a line in the NOTE about that, but I took it out. You're absolutely right! I just added it back in. :)

  3. I have entered that chapel twice over the past few years and like you, I have experienced emotions that I can't explain. There is something about the place and surroundings that seems to bring emotions from those I have observed wandering around the grounds.

    1. Hey, Ken! That's interesting. Thanks for telling me. It was really weird. I was able to control myself, but it wasn't easy.

  4. What an interesting Chapel and a part of your family history, Sure would have been an emotional visit, but was very worthwhile.
    Glad you took us along.

    1. Thanks, George. I wanted to see it last year, but never got there, so I was happy to finally see it in person! :)

  5. We enjoyed visiting the chapel some years ago. We visit cathedrals etc. as architectural achievements rather than for spiritual reasons. Neat to have a family link.

  6. Hi Merikay, I remember my brother-in-law (he's an architect) and sister-in-law showing the family their slides from a trip to Europe in the '60s, and all the technical pictures from the churches there. It was fascinating, something I never learned in school, of course. I still remember flying buttresses, etc. So you're right on! Amazing what was possible so long ago, and they are still standing today. :)


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