Monday, 23 September 2013

The Flooding at St. Catherine's - the Chapel on the Rock

The story of the Chapel of St. Catherine's Stone Chapel on the Rock surviving the recent flooding at the St. Malo Retreat Center, Colorado, seems to bear a rather spooky connection to the previous blog post:

ESTES PARK - Built atop a massive granite rock, it's in every way a part of the valley landscape. Saint Catherine's Stone Chapel on the Rock sits in the shadow of Mount Meeker, the 13,916-foot peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.
It was built in 1935 by Monsignor Joseph Bosetti with the intention of utilizing the symbolism of the strength of the rock that the chapel sits on.
When heavy rains unleashed a torrent of rock, mud, water and debris down the slopes of Mount Meeker the chapel would need that strength to simply survive.
"Everyone is agreeing that this was of biblical proportions," said Brenda Brown, a parishioner at the chapel.
The slide cut a path a quarter-mile wide through the valley, taking with it boulders and snapping large trees. The area was heavily forested before the slide. After it passed, the area was clear cut.
"The power of the water was terrifying," Brown said.
When the slide reached the bottom of the valley it had taken everything in its path, everything save for the Chapel on the Rock. The water, mud and debris reached the rock and then went around it.
"Some have taken it as a sign of discouragement, but on the contrary, most of us are looking at this as, hello, the rock is there. The chapel is there. God is here. Faith is real and here is a symbol of it," Brown said.
While the valley is a scene of destruction the chapel is undamaged. There is no mud or water damage to the interior of the historic chapel.
The chapel also holds historical significance because it was visited in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. The pope spent the day there and hiked trails nearby. A sign was erected at the trailhead that reads, "John Paul II Trailhead." A likeness of the pope is painted on the wood post.
That sign and painting escaped damage while just a few feet away trees were torn out of the ground by the slide.

(See the full article here)

Even though the chapel is named after St. Catherine of Sienna, rather than St. Catherine LabourĂ©, the latter saint is named in honour of the former, so the connection is still there. Could this be another link with the flooding at Lourdes? Rather ominously, the flooding at Colorado began on 15th September - the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, whose pierced Immaculate Heart adorns the Miraculous Medal. The previous post discussed how Lourdes and the Miraculous Medal of St. Catherine LabourĂ© are connected through the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception - which is in turn linked to the crushing of the Serpent's head in the Protoevangelium and the narrative of the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12. And now just after Lourdes was almost swept away by flood waters (recalling Rev 12:15-16), we have a Chapel dedicated to a St. Catherine built on a rock miraculously surviving a huge flood. In particular, it rather uncannily echoes the end of the previous post:

...[The vision of the Third Secret of Fatima which describes Our Lady protecting the world from being consumed by the angel's flaming sword by the rays of light which issue from her hands] is in turn directly lifted from the imagery of the Miraculous Medal, which depicts not only the head of the Serpent being crushed by the Woman of Revelation, conceived without sin, but also the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary - consecrations to which frame the 100 years of Satan's greater power foreseen by Pope Leo XIII. All of these considerations are then tied together in the fact the flooding at Lourdes on the 18th June directly parallels a passage in the Book of Revelation concerning the Woman Adorned with the Sun being threatened to be carried away by the flood that pours from the mouth of the Serpent after he has been cast to earth. But the Dragon fails in his attempt to sweep away the Woman with a flood, because the house of God is founded upon the rock of St. Peter, and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it:

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
(Matt 7:24-27)

"I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
(Matt 16:18-19)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for adding needed texture to this obvious '"sign". I am extremely grateful to you for your willingliness to share your extensive research and your gift to clearly articulate the linkage between the events we are experiencing and historical and biblical passages.


Anonymous said...

Now that is the work of the Lord!!!!!.I hope other people recognize that

Anonymous said...

It's funny but I've just re-read Louis de Wohl's Lay Seige to Heaven and was thinking and praying that we need another Catherine of Sienna right now.
We certainly need to be paying attention.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Colorado and have been to this chapel many times. I have to say that this article was really schewed. Adjacent to that chapel is a very large retreat center that suffered a fire 2years ago named St. Malo's and the structure survived too, The way the article portrayed the story was that there was a total deluge and somehow this obscure chapel survived. It's on the property of a massive conference center. Yes, it was a blessing that God spared it and many other structures, but I think grossly over simplifying a story does a real injustice to truly stunnung events that really do qualify as "miraces". PS the photo you have posted has been enhanced deliberately not to show the retreat center because compared to the old chapel it's an eye sore.

megan said...

Thank you, quite compelling. Recalls to mind 2 things:

the house built on SAND...Hurricane Sandy and Sandy Hook Elementary

and one of my favorite verse in all of scripture:
For stern as death is love,
relentless as the netherworld is devotion,
deep waters cannot quench love,
nor floods sweep it away.
Song of Songs 8:6-7

"All the Books of the Bible are Holy, but the Song of Songs in the Holy of Holies." -Rabbi AkivaB

megan said...

oops - forgot a piece of the verse from the Song of Songs --

insert "its flames are a blazing fire!" between devotion and deep

just like the hearts of Jesus and Mary

JohnO said...

I was in Ft Collins the weekend of the flooding for business. It was Sunday and as I had missed morning mass to travel I found a Church with evening mass. I walked seven miles in the rain to get to the mass, it was a beautiful pilgrimage and I'm glad Our Lord took me there.

Mass was said by a wonderful priest, who gave a excellent homily on the prodigal son. After mass I spoke to the priest a bit.

Two days later I had the strongest notion that I must tell this priest to have a procession in reparation and thanksgiving. Colorado is home to the highest percentage of athiests in the US. I found the priest online and emailed him. I received no response to my email so I don't know if the priest ever performed the procession. I hope he did and I was glad I followed my urge to tell him.

Emmett O'Regan said...

That sounds very prescient. Thanks for sharing that John!

JohnO' said...

Thanks for this blog Emmett. It's very informative. If you were to ask me why God took me to Colorado (where I had never been) that very weekend I can only think that it must have been to tell that priest to have a procession. I hope he did it because it's not over for that state unless there is some repentance. They've had wild fires, floods, etc, it goes on and on. I'm sure I came off as some loon but I hope the people there in Colorado will repent soon.

Unknown said...

Only the faithful will be spared, the rest will be cleansed by fire.