Tag Archives: Fred Courkos

Holy Cross Chapel Rocks

IMG_8973My friend and I stumbled into Holy Cross Chapel, a Roman Catholic chapel, while we were in Sedona Arizona. The chapel was built into the the rocks and run by the Diocese of Phoenix, as a part of St. John Vianney Parish. It took Fred Courkos’ crew 18 months to build, costing $300,000, and was completed in 1956. We weren’t originally planning on checking it out, but as we got closer to Chapel Road and since we didn’t have much free time left we made a last minute decision to squeezed it in and go see what it was all about. We took the left off 179 and headed out to the end of Chapel Road where Holy Cross Chapel is located.

As we got to the chapel, we passed it on the lower road. Next thing we knew we were stuck in traffic. Since I was excited that we decided to see the chapel my friend suggested that I jumped out of the car and walk up the road to see what was going on. As I came around a bend and to the beginning of the parking area I realized that there was traffic because there were employees helping people park. The line of cars wasn’t that long so I decided to walk a little further up the road to the top and check out the view from the chapel.

By the time I got to the top and took a few pictures of Bell Rock and several other rocks I could see that my friend was only 1 car away from parking. I took a peek inside the chapel and then headed back down to my friend. The skies that had been super clear on my way up the hill suddenly got extremely dark and it started to rain.

I met up with my friend and we ran back up in the rain and straight into the chapel which was quite small, but very beautiful. It was full of people trying to escape the rain sitting in the two rows of pews and along the edge of the building. Inside there were also two long rows of candles, a memorial plack, a donation box, and a gift shop below. We took a moment to explore the room and then headed to see if we wanted anything from the gift shop.

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We walked around looking at merchandise, most of which had a spiritual concept or connection. We also found a small wall which had a bit of history on it including a picture of what site prior to the chapel being built on it looked like in 1955 and after the chapel had been built in 1956. My friend purchased a small item and while she was doing that I overheard someone ask if there were still services held in the chapel. The employee responded by telling them that services are held elsewhere in another chapel not too far away. Later in my research on their website it says services are held, but only on Mondays at 5pm. I wondered which is true.

We headed back up into the chapel. It was still raining, but we decided to move onto our next adventure anyway. As we drove down I got a few more pictures of the front of the chapel. If you are in the area and have a little bit of time this chapel is perfect for a quick stop. It’s small and magnificent all at the same time.

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