Our last day in Juneau was a rainy one, but we seemed to be ahead of the clouds everywhere we went including the beautiful Shrine of St. Therese. A stone church built on an island, it’s well hidden but worth being sought out. This was the view along the main trail from the parking lot. You’d never know this amazing place was in the midst of those trees!
But a short walk across the causeway and you are standing on the stoop of this amazing structure. The craftsmanship is stunning, especially considering it’s built on an island in remote Alaska during the depression.
And beyond that massive carved door is this simple, yet beautiful interior, which still hosts weddings and regular worship services.
The view from the island is almost as impressive as the church itself, even on a cloudy drizzly day.
I was seriously envious of photographers who get to do portrait sessions here. It’s an ideal storybook location. In addition to the church and view there are rustic fences amongst the trees and swoon-worthy stone walls. * SIGH *
Beside the chapel is a large crucifixion statue, which starts the stone structures called “Stations of the Cross” with alabaster carvings depicting scenes of Christ’s final hours of human life.
Although we didn’t have time to visit all the sights at the shrine, we did stop to appreciate the Merciful Love Labyrinth. Built by volunteers of all ages who carried cobbles from the beach nearby, the labyrinth is a metaphor for the human journey of life.
Now operated as a retreat venue, the grounds and buildings are available for event rentals, but drop in visitors and recreationalists are still welcome to come and experience the location and trails. If you have some time to relax while in Juneau, this is a great place to do so. Visit the Shrine’s website for a complete history and additional information about this amazing place of spiritual refuge and retreat.