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The Chapel

As the visitors continue north, they experience the chapel facade. As high as forty-nine feet, arching members of wood, frame the stone entry structure below and within the chapel structure. The arching wood members inlaid in the facade articulate waves of grain, symbolic of the grain of the Eucharist, the bread of life, and the essence of the Catholic faith. As the visitors enter the chapel, so does the water, flowing through the church like the Holy Spirit. Two streams of water flank the entry and flow along the sides of the pews. The waters cut a stream in the limestone that forms the floor and foundation of the chapel. Set on top of this mass of limestone are wooden structural members that arch across the chapel like waves of grain. The twelve structural members represent the apostles.  At the front of the chapel, the image of the Holy Family is beautifully etched into a single pane of glass sixteen feet tall.

With an open view of the prairie and the Platte valley beyond, the image of the Holy Family appears like spirits in the heaven. The elevated altar area sits in front of the Holy Family image. An elevated slab of limestone at the altar area appears to float above a pool of water. This pool is collecting the flowing streams on either side of the pews as they flow through the chapel.

Sitting in the chapel, the natural gifts from God surround the visitors. The prairie grasses embrace the glass walls on all sides of the chapel. The sereneness of the gentle waving of the grain places the chapel as if in a cloud. The gifts of the sun, moon, and clouds are felt as the natural light filters through the  arching interlacing structure within the chapel. These interactions of the man made with the natural creations of God, call those present, to realize the "Divine providence" of God. It is here that the Holy Spirit stirs the supernatural sense of faith to seek the truth.

 
The Holy Family Shrine, Gretna, Nebraska