Saturday, June 12, 2010

Villa Maria Retreat Center (PA): Chapel Tour

I spent the first two days of this week at a workshop for spiritual directors held on the richly diverse 700+ acre home of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary in western Pennsylvania. A brief tour of the Magnificat Chapel:

The woodcarving of Mary, made by Cleveland sculptors, stands in the narthex, facing the chapel.

Fiber wall hangings behind the gathering space were made by one of the Sisters.

The cross looks like a jewel, with its silver, gold, and red enamel, and twelve bells symbolizing, according to a guidebook, the noise and celebrational sound of apostles.

Three sacramental oils are displayed on a side wall; green is the oil of catechumens.

The windows create amazing patterns of light across the chapel early and late in the day.

I had mixed feelings about the workshop itself, but I love the Sisters' chapel.  Later: photos of their very different (!) Zen prayer room .


  1. exquisite...loved seeing that.

  2. how facinating, a zen prayer room in this place - I'd like that.... beautiful photos, I'm enjoying what you are photographing and reflecting on....

  3. Just beautiful -- what an awe-inspiring prayer space.

  4. I'm having a crazy month, and am so far behind on your wonderful posts. I miss the quiet reading time, but it will have to wait. You know very well what graduation time is like...we're there.
    I love this description in word and photo of that sacred space.
    Also loved the 5 questions and answers. For some reason, those are some of my favorite posts to read.
    I can't even start your Augustinian post today - want to, but must go now, and look forward to it...maybe in July? =)

  5. Wow! One of my Augustinian colleagues was there as well (which I found out after the fact).

    I love the second photo of the sand garden....

  6. Wish I had known that, Michelle!