Blessed Summer Vacation
Updated: May 10
You have saved your vacation days; the children are out of school for the summer. Time to plan a family getaway. Our world offers a vast array of vacation opportunities, theme parks, waterfront resorts, national parks, camping sites or a trip back home to visit family and friends.
This year try a different type of vacation. A new family tradition, such as a trip to one of the many outstanding Catholic sites within our diocese and the surrounding states. Quality family time that does not empty the bank account but still creates a family bonding experience that will last for years to come. Wherever your family vacation takes you be sure to incorporate a stop at one of the many Catholic sites or local churches across our beautiful county.
Here are a few suggested sites:
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
1535 Logan St., Denver, Colorado
Originally built in 1860 it was the first Catholic Church in Denver. This Historic French Gothic Structure is a magnificent site with its twin 210-foot spires that contain fifteen bells. The Cathedral hosts seventy-five stained glass windows, crafted in Munich, Germany at the Royal Bavarians Art Institute prior to WWll. The Cathedral also has a Grand Pipe Organ.
On August 13, 1993, His Holiness John Paul ll celebrated Mass at the Cathedral as part of the World Youth Day celebration.
Mother Cabrini Shrine
20189 Cabrini Blvd, Golden, Colorado
Mother Cabrini Shrine offers retreat facilities, daily mass and is open every day for visitors and pilgrims to come and pray, explore, and visit.
The site overlook includes a museum, gift shop, grotto, stairway to prayer, meditation walk, meditation and Cabrini Gardens. A 22-foot statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus stands at the top of the hill overlooking the city of Denver. A truly memorable spot to relax, reflect, light a candle, and explore the campus of Mother Cabrini Shrine.
Chapel on the Rock
10758 State Highway 7, Allenspark, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
St. Catherine of Siena Chapel was built atop a rocky mound in the shadow of Mount Meeker, at 13,916 feet is the second-highest summit in Rocky Mountain National Park. While the exterior is particularly striking, the interior is just as magnificent and contains impressive statues that were carved in Bolzano, Italy, at the Giacomo-Mussner studios. In 1993, Pope St. John Paul II prayed and blessed the Chapel of the Rock on his visit to Colorado for World Youth Day. The Pope hiked along the trails at Camp St. Malo, which was later named the John Paul II Trail in his honor.
The Stations of The Cross
512 Church Place, San Luis, Colorado
Being the oldest town in Colorado, it is rich in history and well worth the drive. The dirt walking trail is less than a mile long, it slowly winds around the mesa, passing the different sculptures of the stations as you go. There are 15 stations in all with the last station being Christ’s resurrection.
The Stations of the Cross were sculptured in bronze by Huberto Maestas. Beyond the statues is a grotto of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a beautiful historic mission style church.
The Loretto Chapel
207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM
The Loretto Chapel is known for its unusual spial staircase, often referred to as the “Miraculous Stair” The staircase rises 20 feet to the choir loft, making two full turns all without the support of a center pole. The staircase is built mostly of wood and is held together by wooden pegs with no glue, nails or pegs.
The staircase was built in 1881. A story told by the Sisters of Loretto, states the original contractor of the chapel died unexpectantly before constructing a staircase to the loft. Multiple builders were consulted but none could find a workable solution due to the confined quarters. The Sisters prayed a novena to the to St. Joseph the patron of carpenters. On the last day of their novena a mysterious stranger appeared and offered to build the staircase. He worked alone and disappeared afterwards without collecting his pay or leaving his identity. The Chapel is now a museum and wedding Chapel.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery
142 Joseph Blane Rd, Silver City, NM
Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery is nestled in the Rocky Mountains above Silver City, New Mexico, with stunning views of the valley below, Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery was founded in 1991. Visitors are invited to browse the gift shop which includes spiritual books, sacramentals, rosaries, chapel veils, crucifix’s, essential oils and of course Abby Roast Coffee which is packaged in their onsite roasting house.
The Monks are called to prayer seven times a day. Guests are invited to attend the Latin Mass. The monks chant the Divine Office daily in the main chapel which is open to the public. Overnight accommodation is available, in the quest house (call ahead for reservations).
Replica of Noah’s Ark
1 Ark Encounter Drive, Williamstown, KY
The Ark Encounter is full size replica of Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. 150 ft long, 85 ft wide,51 ft high. Stunning exhibits allow you to see what Noah’s life might have been like and how he might have fed and took care of the animals. Youth can participate in engaging, hands on learning from a biblical worldview.
There is also a zoo with active participation of feeding the animals, riding the animals and gift shop. A family fun adventure back into Biblical history.
Other places of interest:
The Cathedral of the Madeleine 331 E. South Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84111-1226 The Shrine of St. Thérèse 300 Goodnight Avenue Pueblo, Colorado
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
1060 St. Francis Way, Dener, Colorado
El Santuario de Chimayo
15 B Santuario Drive, Chimayo, NM
Anne Petroff, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Grand Junction
Image by Freepik
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