Sunday, July 10, 2011

                                                                                     July 10, 2011

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
La Quinta, California

"La Quinta is a resort city in Riverside County, California, USA, specifically in the Coachella Valley between Indian Wells and Indio. (Adjacent to Palm Springs.) The population was 23,694 at the 2000 census. The Robb Report credits La Quinta as the nation's leading golf destination. Among those destinations is the La Quinta Resort and Club, a resort dating to 1926...The words "la quinta" are Spanish, translating to "the fifth". More specifically, the word "quinta" is known in Mexico as a type of hacienda." (See Link 1.)

"Saint Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone; 1181/1182 – October 3, 1226)[2] was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis.[3] St. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.[3]"  ( See Link 3.)  The Prayer of St. Francis  is well known. A   variation on the prayer was delivered by Mother Theresa when she addressed the United Nations in 1985. (See Link 4.)

                                                          Sanctuary Front Altar
"Architect Ricciardi suggested... this 20,000 sq ft Romanesque basilica-type design with a seating capacity of 700 (since increased to 800).  He envisioned featuring a high ceiling, marble floor, wooden beams overhead and a long rectangular nave facing the altar... It took two years, 1982 to 1984 to build St. Francis of Assisi Church.

                                                Sanctuary Left Side Alcove Altar
                                              Sanctuary Right Side Alcove Altar
In the Sanctuary "The altar of Sacrifice, the pulpit and the baptismal font are of carrara marble and were designed by Rebechi Aeg in Italy... the Sanctuary Crucifix with figures depicting Christ and St. Francis was carved by Italian sculptor, Ivo Demetiz, from a single piece of pepper wood... The Mosaics, taking nine months to complete were created by artist Peter Ladochy of San Luis Obispo.  Each Mosaic is in the Byzantine smaltite style using marble, travertine, venetian glass and gold leaf... the fourteen Murals on the sides of the church depict the Life of St. Francis.  They are replicas of paintings by Renaissance artist, Giotto, which adorn the Mother Church in Assisi, Italy.  The late Alexander Rosenfeld of La Quinta, who was in his nineties at the time, worked nine hours per day, six days a week for almost two and one half years to complete these murals...the Stained Glass Windows were produced in Ireland. (See Reference 1.)

                       Side Mosaic Murals by Alexander Rosenfeld of La Quinta

"The Christ Chapel (in a separate building in the courtyard next to the church) contains a labyrinth carpet-a walking prayer carpet which is a replica of the labyrinth laid in stone in Chartres Cathedral in France about the year 1200...The slate floor is embedded with leaves, fossils, and grain symbolizing the sacred space grounded in earth.   There are 12 columns and 12 light sconces surrounding the chapel, with 12 being symbolic in sacred art...The beautiful chapel windows are made from genuine antique stained glass...They were designed by Brother Joseph Aspell and are done in a contemporary style.  The window depict stories from the Old and the New Testaments, but are not literal representations.

                                                                   Christ  Chapel

                                                         Christ Chapel Windows

"Outside the Chapel is a garden containing a modern statue of St. Francis by Benjamin Bufano.  The garden is embraced by Bernini-like columns which serve as the entrance to the Christ Chapel..." (See Reference 2.) 

                                           St. Francis Statue by Benjamin Bufano

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church is a well known choice for weddings.  If you visit the church as part of the celebration you might be treated  to the sights and sounds of a mariachi band in the courtyard. (See and hear Link 6.)

                                                      Mariachi Wedding Band at
                                           St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

Photos: Taken in La Quinta, California in February, 2011 by SW.
Reference 1: Pamphlet St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Community

Reference 2: Pamphlet Christ Chapel and Labyrinth at St. Francis of Assisi
Link 1:,_California
Link 2:
Link 3:
Link 4:
Link 5:
Link 6: You Tube-Mariachi Wedding Band


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

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