Photographer's Note

The Chapel on the Rock.

The Chapel on the Rock at the St. Malo Center, Meeker Park, Colorado

After our weeks of nasty weather it was beautiful today. I had a wonderful day of shooting. I managed to get up into the mountains early enough to still have the sun behind me and pretty clear sky ..

Old highway 7 runs from Lyons to Estes Park .. much of it along the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park.

I can still remember the first time I rounded the corner on this old high road and came upon this scene .. I have had a horrid time capturing it in the many years since .. Mt. Meeker is often hidden by clouds .. the Chapel sits on a rock above a very marshy area .. this vantage point is from the highway .. which has no shoulder so you are always risking being run over ..

The following is from:

The founder of Camp St. Malo, Monsignor Joseph Bosetti, had for years entertained an idea that one day he would build a chapel on this site. In 1916 he and two friends observed a falling meteor during the night and in his search for the remnants the next morning, he came across a large rock. The beauty of the land inspired the priest and he remembered Jesus’ words to Peter: “Upon this rock, I will build my Church.” (Matt 16:18).

Vowing one day to build a chapel here, Msgr. Bosetti prayed for nearly 20 years to acquire the funds. During time, he found himself in a constant battle with the Colorado Highway department which had plans to dynamite the enormous piece of granite to both widen and straighten the curve in the road.
Eventually, Msgr. Bosetti won the battle and years later, when the chapel became a reality, it was reported that a group of engineers who laid out the road came to the dedication and thanked him for his perseverance.

The chapel was designed by noted Denver architect Jacques Benedict. The contractors were the Coulihan Brothers and Charlie Miller of the nearby town of Allenspark, who had native stone hauled in by mule carts from the surrounding area to use as building material.

The land on which Camp St. Malo is built was given to the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver by Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Malo who purchased the 160 acres from the William McPhee estate in 1935.

The Malos donated the funds for the building of the chapel and paid for its maintenance for decades. The chapel was dedicated by Archbishop Urban Vehr in 1936 to the honor of Saint Catherine of Siena and in the memory of Mrs. Malo’s mother, Catherine Smith Mullen.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the chapel during his trip to Denver for the World Youth Day and bestowed his personal blessing on the chapel.

Over the years, thousand of visitors have stopped at the chapel to enjoy its simplicity and beauty as it is framed against majestic Mt. Meeker. In 1999, Boulder County designated the chapel as a historic site. The Chapel on the Rock is truly a Colorado landmark.

The following is from one of my earlier images:
In order to be considered a real hip mountain in Colorado you have to be a 14er - more than 14,000 feet ... (4,267 meters) .. poor Mt. Meeker .. sits next to Longs Peak .. the central 14er North of Denver .. and Mt. Meeker is just under the mark at 13,911 feet ... 4240 meters ... I wonder if it has developed a complex.

still a stunning mountain in my opinion .. and a truly wonderful place.

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Additional Photos by John McLaird (jmcl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2514 W: 131 N: 4070] (14535)
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