Divine Beauty and Inspiration - in my own backyard Our Lady Of Loreto - Catholic Church, Foxfield CO
"The Virgin of the Grapes" - the original painted by Pierre Mignard in 1640 hangs in the Louvre.....but this "recreation" greets you as you enter the main offices of one of the most beautiful "churches" which I have had the wonder of not just visiting but attending and... in of all places just 3 miles from my home....in my backyard.
Located in Foxfield, Colorado.....just off Arapahoe Rd and about a quarter of a mile east from the Parker Rd intersection. It sits to the south. Although the exterior which has grown dramatically due to the increase in the school looks like so many other - large - churches - the interior is something to behold.
The Parish was started by Father Ed Buelt - in his garage. I didn't know Father Ed who is now Monsignor - but he had a vision. He organized and grew the parishioners and they kept growing - moving to Regis High School until finally in 2001 they broke ground for the new church. Father David Bluejacket is now the spiritual leader and the parish continues to grow.
Much of the information I am going to share is from a brochure they have that traces the history and symbolic meanings of the architecture and design of the church. I give them all the credit for the information in this blog. Not trying to plagiarize but I did take some comments directly from the brochure. I hope they will forgive me but I couldn't have said it any better......
Enjoy and when - you have a chance to visit or take part in the services - sit in awe as we have and rejoice in the divine "nature" and inspiration of "Our Lady Of Loreto".
The entrance was inspired by the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan, Italy. It faces the west and in Colorado our western sun glows brightly...bathing the interior with light in the afternoon. The golden bronze doors - invite you to enter and to leave the secular world behind as you are called to worship.
As you enter the "Narthax" - entry way before the sanctuary - you walk on a red carpet with white four armed crosses which symbolize fish which combined evokes the Red Sea...Exodus to freedom.........in this case not just physical but spiritual as well. The carpet continues into the santuary......where:
.....your gaze to the alter and the surrounding pillars - of wood and stone and none with any right angles makes you feel as if you have entered a heavenly dome....which you have.
It reminds me of the the Cathedral - Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain - Antoni Gaudi's magnificent cathedral that symbolizes and embodiments the beauty and diversity found in nature created by the divine. Like tree trunks the pillars reach to the heavens another reminder when Moses lead his people through the desert to the promised land singing......"The trees of the wood shout for joy at the presence of the Lord".
The sanctuary was also very reminiscent of the Stave Churches in Scandinavia...or the Norwegian Longships. The pillars looking like the "ribs or bones" of the ships that were built.....so functional and yet so beautiful.
Everywhere you look - you are uplifted. I was fortunate to be there early in the morning to capture the elegance, the beauty, the artistry and fascination as the light danced around the walls. The peacefulness and grace of the symmetry. It was something to behold.
Around the walls are magnificent stained glass windows. They are called the Rosary Windows and are dedicated to the Virgin Mary. I tried to capture them but the light was so bright - I couldn't get a good shot.
Additionally are the Stations of the Cross. They were designed by the Italian sculpture Marcell Tommasi and they are unique to Our Lady of Loreto. No other copies were made.
The stained glass windows and the sculptures are worth a visit all to themselves......but the majesty and simple beauty of this entire structure is something to enjoy.
The alter is a focal point. It is elegant and again full of symbolism. The edges are rough and stand for the world in which we live...the base - cut in two to remind us of the intervention of God in the created world and in sending Christ as the intervention of Love.....and all made of stone....."the cornerstone that the builder's rejected". I could go on and on about the Ambo, the Baptismal Font, the Tabernacle......more and more but what I want to finish with is this:
The Church building - maybe any church building is not what it is all about. It symbolizes and reminds of the the deeper meaning of the Ministry - in this case Christianity. Our Lady of Loreto - in all of its beauty and splendor and it is amazing ... also oversees Fellowship, Prayer, Faith Formation, Liturgy and Worship as well as supporting Outreach Programs like:
Habitat for Humanity
Nursing Home Outreach
Funeral Reception Help
Cookies, Sandwiches and More
Food Bank of the Rockies......and many more.
It is a magnificent building but like so many things in it..........it means so much more when you take the inspiration with you when you leave......and turn it into action.
Be good to someone today..
BK Travel Tips
To enjoy travel and see the world and often yourself as if for the first time and with with the eyes of a young child.