Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 15 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. César de Bus

Is this the smallest parish in the United States?

March 26, 2017 ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC Father Rafael Bercasio speaks to tourists gathered for Sunday Mass at El Cristo Rey Chapel in the Grand Canyon, the only Catholic parish located inside a national park.

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/03/17

Maybe: 

Father Rafael Bercasio pastors perhaps the smallest parish in America — and the most uniquely situated. A short walk away from the south rim of the Grand Canyon sits El Cristo Rey Chapel, a small wooden building that serves as the spiritual home of the Catholic families who work at the national park. El Cristo Rey has 26 registered families, who are “always outnumbered by the tourists,” Father Bercasio said. The chapel is located within the boundaries of Grand Canyon Village, a residential neighborhood of around 1,500 households that includes a school, a grocery store and a post office. Residents are employed as park rangers and naturalists, maintenance workers, and hotel, restaurant and retail staff. Some live there only six months out of the year, although the park is open year-round. “You cannot live here if you’re not working in the Grand Canyon,” the priest explained. Grand Canyon Village is perhaps more familiar to park visitors as the site of historic hotels such as El Tovar and the stopping point for the most photographed views of the canyon. Visitors can catch glimpses of the village’s less visited residential areas as they ride on the shuttle — a free bus that moves the park’s vast quantities of tourists throughout the south rim’s hotels and restaurants. El Cristo Rey Chapel is not on the park’s shuttle route. But its Mass schedule — along with directions for walking there — were posted near the registration desk of El Tovar when I visited the park at the end of March. It was not my first visit to the Grand Canyon, but never before had I noted the presence of a Catholic church.

Check out the rest. 

Photo: Ana Rodriguez-Soto/Florida Catholic

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 Aleteia.org 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
1
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
2
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
5
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
6
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
7
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
See More