"Big Four" Highlights


Rocky Mountain Tour

Knights of Columbus Prepares for Denver Convention

By Brian Caulfield, FFG Editor

A 22-foot-tall statue of Jesus stands at the summit of a long climb of 373 steps. In 1954, Knights of Denver Council 539 donated benches that were placed along the path for pilgrims to rest during the ascent.

The 129th Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention will be held in Denver, Colorado, from August 2 to 4. But the activities began over the weekend for convention attendees and their families.

Leaving the Mile High City early on Saturday morning, a bus load of Knights of Columbus and their families went even deeper and higher into the Rockies on a scheduled convention tour to three popular attractions: the Shrine of Mother Cabrini, the Red Rock Amphitheatre and the Coors Brewery.

Situated on the grounds of the original school and orphanage founded by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, who came from Italy to the United States in the late 19th century to care for Catholic immigrants and orphans, the shrine is a testament to the great faith and determined work of the saint and the religious order she founded. Located in the town of Golden, the site features rugged walkways and stone steps that lead to outdoor devotional areas such as a rosary walk, the Stations of the Cross and an impressive statue of Jesus and his Sacred Heart, to which Mother Cabrini had a great devotion. The statue rises to 22 feet and stands on an 11-foot base. Carved of Italian marble, the statue was dedicated on July 11, 1954. Visitors who view the statue from the front will notice on the ground another work of art: a Heart of Stone carved by St. Frances Cabrini herself.

An attractive Stations of the Cross path is located along the ascent to the Christ statue.

To reach the statue, the Knights and their wives, and a few of their children, climbed 373 steps lined on one side by the Stations of the Cross and the mysteries of the rosary. They were traveling a path made in part possible by the Knights of Columbus. Not long after the stairway was completed in 1954, terra-cotta benches were placed strategically along the way to allow pilgrims to sit and rest during the challenging ascent. The funds for the benches were donated by the Knights of Columbus Denver Council 539.

Ancient formations at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre create a favorable acoustic atmosphere for musical groups.

On the bottom of the steps are a grotto chapel where some of the pilgrims prayed and lit a candle before the statue of Mother Cabrini, and took water from a spring discovered by Mother Cabrini that is said to have brought about many miracles.

The next stop on the bus tour was the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a truly magnificent natural wonder that displays a portion of Colorado’s famous rock formations. The geological history of the Rockies is revealed in these red protrusions and a person of faith can see the handiwork of God, who slowly and patiently, century after century, built these structures through the forces of nature. The man-made open-air theater is flanked on two sides by high rock structures that form a wonderful acoustic effect for musical performances. Famous rock and country stars have performed here to crowds crammed into the nearly 10,000 seats.

After hours of trekking through the mountain paths on a warm and sunny day, the last stop on the trip brought a measure of refreshment, with a tour of the Coors Brewery and some samples for the adults. The children were offered root beer and lollipops.