Inspiring Places: Holy Family Cathedral; Or, that time St. Terese unlocked a church...

   Since the weather is proving to be nice again, and the trees and flowers are all in bloom, I have been feeling the urge to get out and explore a bit. There are many gorgeous churches in downtown Tulsa, and since I'm only about 20 minutes away from that area, I thought it would make a nice morning trip to go exploring.
   I settled on Holy Family Cathedral at 8th and Boulder as a nice place to visit. I'd seen photos of a friend's wedding there, and others had also raved about how gorgeous it was. My only anxiety was--- these grand old churches are usually locked tight when there isnt a service going on. Sadly, vandalism keeps them from remaining constantly open, but I was hopeful there would be an office open somewhere within the depths of the building and someone would take pity on me and let me get a glimpse. After all, aren't cathedrals sites to see from far and wide?
   So Robbie and I set off, me saying a prayer that we'd be able to get in--- and since I'd just written down a quote that morning from St. Therese of Lisieux (a saint I've been reading about lately), I tagged her onto the prayer as well. Never hurts to have back up, right?


     So we arrived, parked, and slowly made out way to the Cathedral. I can be a little Type A and nervous about these sort of situations--- I'm one of those people who need to look at a map before I go somewhere new and feel anxious if I haven't seen a place with my own eyes (but once I've seen it, I can find my way there pretty easily.)
   The cathedral was huge and beautiful, but odds were--- very locked up. I made my way to the corner to cross the street, feeling a little dread that whether we'd driven all the way out here not to get in, when a bus pulled up at the corner. Off the bus filed dozens of private school students and a handful of parents. They all wore various shades of light and navy blue--- ironically the same color of clothing I was wearing.
   Taking advantage of this fantastic coincidence, I joined in with the group as they filed into the cathedral-- some of the boys even held the door open for me. Talk about a warm welcome!



    Walking through the old wooden doors, I was at once met with the scent of incense mingled with Easter lilies that still adorned the altar. The school children headed up to the choir loft with their tour guide and I held back, Robbie asleep in his carrier, just taking in the sights. 
   Holy Family is a gorgeous cathedral--- richly decorated in the heavenly and intense shades of red, blue and gold. The cathedral has a fascinating history, as well as the school attached to it. The school was first founded in 1899 as a school for Native American girls, but is now a private school for both boys and girls. The stained glass windows within the Cathedral are copie of windows created in Munich, Germany by the Royal Bavarian Art Institute and installed in 1913 and 1914. The original windows were later destroyed during WWII, but the copies are still beautiful and vibrant here in Oklahoma.





    I was able to spend some nice quiet time in the cathedral while Robbie slept, and workers silently replenished candles and cleaned pews. I crept around snapping photos here in there and just soaking up the beautiful atmosphere. As I circled around back towards the door, I noticed these beautiful large paintings on the side--- one of St. Anthony, and another of St. Therese of Lisieux-- The Little Flower. There she was, smiling right down at me! I wouldn't have been a bit surprised if she held the keys to the cathedral in her pocket. At that moment, I felt like this had indeed been a very special morning.

   Hoping you have a special moment like this as well, as you start this new week.
Thanks for coming by to visit me!~
~H

7 comments

  1. Gorgeous window. Thanks for sharing your miracle. Most often churches are locked these days, because of vandals. xoxo

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  2. How very beautiful! You were in the right place at the right time! Disturbing news yesterday here when we heard of a fire at the amazing Greek Orthodox Church in town that gutted the sanctuary. Firemen were able to remove a very few items from the church, and I'm sure they will rebuild. The interior was gorgeous! xo

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  3. Those all-white marble altars always fascinated me. Jumping for joy over your visit. Deo gratias for the faithful Little Flower.

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  4. What a beautiful church! I love all of the bright colors and light inside. Here in France , we have been looking into churches from the 12th century onward. Each one has its own beauty and often a patron saint which quietly keeps watch . In the tiny towns, the church holds the prominent spot in the center of town. Each one the keeper of centuries of history both peaceful and turbulent. They are always a place of respite and beauty!

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  5. Very pretty- thanks for the tour : )

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  6. What a beautiful church, and story too! I love churches, the art and lighting is always so peaceful.

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Each and every comment is appreciated! Thanks for coming to visit me :) ~Heather

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