If Marguerite Brunswig Staube were alive today, the former sculptress, philanthropist and devout Catholic, would be gratified to see how the Chapel of the Holy Cross, the church she built in the red rocks of Sedona in 1956, continues to touch the hearts of all those who see it. And if she were to eavesdrop on a phone conversation about her chapel, this is what she might hear:
“Maddie, you won’t believe what an awesome time we had at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. I guess some places deserve their reputation. This chapel certainly does! Be sure you see it when you come to Sedona.
The chapel is SO dramatic. It juts out on a spur of rock that is 200 feet off the ground. A 90 feet cross cuts right through the middle—impressive. All around the building you can see a sweeping landscape of red rocks and trees framed by an unbelievably blue sky. One of the red rock formations looks like the Madonna and Child surrounded by praying nuns! It’s stunning. I promise you, the place will take your breath away! Be sure to bring your camera!
And pack your sneakers. It’s a little bit of a hike to the chapel from the parking lot, but it’s worth it. The views are even better up top; and inside, the chapel is surprisingly intimate. There are only seven pews on each side. It is so simple and quiet, and it made me feel very peaceful. When I looked around, some people were praying; some were just sitting and looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows behind the large cross. I saw Tom wipe a tear from his eye. Mom lit a candle for Aunt Betsy and bought a rosary in the small gift store in the basement. We were all so glad we stopped in. It was definitely a highlight of our trip.”
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. On Mondays there is a Taize Prayer Service at 5 p.m. (except when Christmas falls on Monday). The focus of the 30-minute service is repetitive sung prayer believed to help quiet the mind for spiritual communion or meditation. The chapel is wheelchair accessible, and there is no admission fee. Although the site is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, people of all faiths are welcome.