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This image of Saint Catherine of Sienna’s Chapel at Saint Malo in Colorado – otherwise known as the “Chapel on the Rock” – was captured on a crystalline-cold December morning. The sun had just risen, and the clouds moved swiftly in the high mountain air following an overnight snowfall. For this photo, I used a wide angle lens to better show its sublime setting just east of Rocky Mountain National Park. To the west, just behind the chapel, is Mount Meeker (13,911 feet). Over the years, thousands of visitors (including Pope John Paul II, in 1993) have come to enjoy its simplicity and beauty. On the far right of the photograph, a statue of Jesus Christ Via Veritas et Vita (“I am the way, the truth and the life”) overlooks it all.
To have contemplated such a magnificent scene on that morning, in its ethereal stillness and light, was like touching the very face of God. Not long after I made this photograph, the clouds you see lowered and thickened, transforming the rarified air into an icy fog. It reminded me once again how fleeting – and precious – moments like these really are.
This is one of three photographs I’ve made of this chapel. Please see “The Chapel on the Rock II” for a more complete description of the chapel and its history.
Saint Catherine of Siena Chapel
Saint Malo Retreat Center
The photo was made using a Canon EOS-1V body, EF 35mm f/1.4L lens, and Fuji Velvia 100 film.