Sunday, May 29, 2011

St Mary of the Woods College - Church

Last weekend, I taught a color theory class and a dye class to the volunteers and staff at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice which is under the auspices of the Sisters of Providence at St. Mary of the Woods College, near Terre Haute, Indiana.

The Sisters of Providence are known for their hospitality and their reputation is well deserved.  They are so friendly!  K2 and I got to spend a night in their straw-bale retreat house and wander the beautiful grounds the evening before the classes.   The next few posts will be a photo tour of our stay.

I love churches.   I especially love churches designed to be beautiful on the inside so that even if the sermon is boring, every where you look there is something to bolster faith and delight the eye.  One of the highlights of the SMW campus for me was the 110 year old Church of the Immaculate Conception.  [Wiki has some fabulous information about its history]

We were there on an 'off' night at dusk.   The chapel, though usually brightly lighted, was dark. It was quiet and peaceful and even K2, who had to be coaxed into the church with the promise, "There are no gnats or mosquitoes inside!", was quickly entranced by how beautiful the space is and didn't want to leave.

In fact, we fought over the camera.    These photos are hers and mine.

The front of the chapel entrance.

The pews are small - only long enough for a pair of sisters.  I love the glow of the old wood of church pews. 

The ceiling over the sanctuary at the top of the nave.

The ceiling over the intersection of the transept and nave.

Beautiful stained glass windows on all sides, both levels.  Every one was different.

Another window.

You can see more of the windows in this view.

The chapel was two levels.  I love the arches - echoed above and below and over every window.

Beautiful plaster friezes between the arches and every arch had a wide casing with medallions at the center top.

And, yes, those are marble columns.

This is the view I loved best.

I'm so, so glad we got to come here.  It was a beautiful contemplative place to spend an hour.  I'm looking forward to next year.


  1. I know what you mean about enjoying the ones that are beautiful on the inside so that even if the sermon is boring, there's something there for the eyes. LOL! When I used to have to go to church, I liked picking the ones with the nice insides.

  2. That is BEAUTIFUL. I love those windows. I can't believe I never went in there when I was computer-geeking in Terre Haute.

    Thanks for posting the pics.

  3. What a beautiful place and now I probably have the answer to my last post..what is SMW :)


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