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Last Saturday I went on retreat at the Maria Stein Center.  While the retreat itself was pretty awesome, I was also totally wowed by beautiful wood carving, especially in the relic chapel.  For example, this is the carving over the door from the outside into the chapel.  And, to be honest, it wasn’t just because it was so beautiful that it caught my attention.  I may be showing my total knitting geek side again, but wouldn’t that design look lovely at the top of a colorwork mitten?

And then there was this screen in between the relic chapel and the main chapel.  Knowing that someone carved that entirely by hand just blows my mind.

Even the back of it is beautiful.

The sheer attention to detail can be seen everywhere.  For example, this is a little motif (maybe two inches wide) that is repeated on the chair rail around the outer perimeter of the chapel.  Also (I’m betting) carved by hand.

And then there was the communion rail across the front of the chapel, ornately carved with different symbols of the faith, and highlighted with gold.  This is the center gate, showing Jesus and Mary.

On each side were the Sacred Heart of Jesus

And the Sacred Heart of Mary


“Blessed be God in his Angels…”

“… and in his Saints.”