About Saint Malo Retreat Center
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).
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 chapel was dedicated by Archbishop Urban Vehr in 1936 to the honor of Saint Catherine of Siena. 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.
A Look inside the Chapel
In the high niches to the left and right of the altar are two soft wood statues. On the statue of St. Catherine of Siena, the Stigmata wounds are present on her hands and feet. This sculpture, along with the statue of Christ the King to the right of the altar, were carved at the Giacomo-Mussner studios in Bolzano, Italy.
The stained glass window depicts St. Catherine holding the body of Christ on the cross. The window was installed in 1937, some two years after the chapel was built. It was created by the world renowned Franz Mayer and Sons Glass Works in Munich, Germany.
The sanctuary lamp has been in use in this chapel since the first Mass was offered in 1935. Before its arrival in Colorado, the antique lamp hung in a small chapel in a palace in Rome which Mussolini ordered torn down in order to make room to build a road.
The medallions, on the east and west walls, once hung in a chapel in the home of Evalyn Walsh McLean, the Denver-born, Washington socialite, who was the last private owner of the famous Hope Diamond. These beautiful medallions feature Madonna and Child in two distinctly different styles.
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