on August 20, 2006
This beautiful chapel is located just south of the city of Sedona and can be seen on the right from state highway 179 as you are driving north toward the city of Sedona from the Sedona exit on Interstate 17.Built on a bluff, the Chapel both blends in with its environment and enhances it.The Chapel is the fulfillment of a dream of Marguerite Brunswig Staude (1899 - 1988), a religious artist and sculpture, who in 1932 was inspired to design and build a modern cathedral. The outbreak of World War II forced her to give up the idea of designing a cathedral to be built in Europe and other obstacles thwarted her plans for building it in various large cities in the US. Following her marriage to Anthony Staude in 1938, she and her husband purchased a ranch in Sedona, Arizona in 1941 to use for a vacation home. Living amongst the scenic splendor of the Sedona countryside, her dreams of a majestic cathedral morphed into a plan for a chapel that would celebrate the beauty of God's creation with art. Working with architect Frank Lloyd Wright's son, Lloyd, she conceived a design for the Chapel and plans and a model were created. However, it wasn't until 1955 that work was started on the Chapel. Upon completion of her artistic creation, Marguerite Brunswig Staude presented it to the St. John Vianney parish in Sedona and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix as a gift.While there is a parking lot at the top of the hill next to the Chapel, my wife and I elected to park in one of the lower lots and walk up the hill absorbing the scenery as we went. Upon reaching the top, we relaxed for a few moments outside the Chapel enjoying the view of the surrounding red rock mountains and the peace of the garden. Inside, the Chapel is simple and modern. A floor to ceiling window, divided into four panes by the huge cross, dominates the interior of the chapel and provides breathtaking backdrop for the altar. The chapel is not used for regular Sunday or daily Mass but is open daily and welcomes visitors who wish to sit in its pews and indulge in private meditation.
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