Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 30 July |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Solanus Casey
home iconTravel
line break icon

The awe-inspiring church built into the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona


Sheila Sund | CC BY-NC 2.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 01/15/18

The woman who commissioned the Chapel of the Holy Cross was inspired by the Empire State Building.

Voted one of the “Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona,” the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Roman Catholic church, seems to cling precariously to the red rocks of the Sedona, Arizona, desert.

The unique church was commissioned by artist and rancher Marguerite Brunswig Staude, who had been inspired by the Empire State Building. A devout Catholic, Staude had an epiphany while staring up at the newly constructed New York skyscraper.

According to an article in Gateway to Sedona, she saw a cross super-imposed on the building and thought “What an idea for a church!”

Staude’s idea was to build something modern, that could speak to people in their time.

“God can be worshipped as a contemporary–bringing him closer to earth and every one of us,” she said.

Her initial idea was to build a skyscraper that would fill a city block was not approved by the archbishop of Los Angeles, where she lived at the time. A plan to build the church overlooking the Danube River was scuttled with the start of World War II. In the end, she settled on the chapel nestled into the red rocks of Sedona.

Upon her death, Staude left the chapel to the Catholic Church, which welcomes people of all denominations and today holds a prayer service there every Monday at 5 p.m.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.