Church of the Week: Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona

So, the lovely Robin and I are driving through the Sedona on our 2004 vacation when we see this amazing modern chapel rising out of the red rocks just south of the city of Sedona.

It is the creation of Marguerite Brunswig Staude (1899 - 1988), a religious artist and sculpture, who wanted 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.

Inside, the Chapel is simple and modern, but striking (I'm not a big fan of modern architecture). A floor-to-ceiling window, divided into four sections 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 to visitors.

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