The Holy Cross Retreat Chapel was dedicated on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 by Bishop Cantú and Bishop Seitz in the presence of over 250 people. Please visit us at Holy Cross Retreat Center so you can see the beautiful new chapel. Click here for our Retreat Calendar.
Fr. Wayne Hellmann reflects on the dedication of the Chapel and the vision behind the architecture.
We Adore You of Christ
by Fr. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv.
“We adore you of Christ and we bless you, here and in all your churches throughout the whole world, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
These words of St. Francis, which he himself recorded and persevered within the text of his Testament, provide background for understanding the mission of Holy Cross Retreat. This same vision characterized the preaching of the Franciscans in the mission area of Las Cruces more than three hundred years ago.
To a more ancient liturgical verse used on Good Friday, Francis added the words: “…here and in all your churches throughout the world.” He also added the word, “holy” to characterize the cross. Thus, the name, “Holy Cross.”
Initial inspiration for architectural design of this new chapel was taken from the words of St. Francis himself. In his day, and for centuries before him, in every church the cross itself was the central image and primary place of prayer. His earliest conversion prayer was a “prayer before the cross.” For Holy Cross Retreat the central place of prayer is before the cross.
We stand before the cross, not alone, but as members of the Body Christ in the communion of saints. And so we approach the cross first through a chapel of saints with whom we share the living water of baptism. On either side of the cross we are invited to two other prayer spaces: a chapel for reservation of the Eucharist and a chapel for honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Directly in front of the cross at the Table of the Lord is the central and principal prayer chapel. There, surrounded by the other three chapels, we pray the great thanksgiving and memorial prayer of the Eucharist. There, we enter more fully into the mystery of salvation “which redeemed the world.” Then, upon leaving we view the way laid out for every Christian, the way of the cross.