Holy Family Shrine by BCDM Architects

September 1, 2011

BCDM Architects designed the Holy Family Shrine in Gretna, Nebraska.


Description from the architects:

Through a unique and divine series of events, a group of people with diverse backgrounds discovered each other and found that they had the same idea: to build a place off Interstate 80 for travelers to pray and discover the Catholic faith.  After two years of searching for the perfect site, one was secured overlooking the Platte River Valley near Gretna.

The purpose of the shrine is to provide an opportunity for people to develop and discover the Catholic faith.  Often, the faith is seen with the convoluted influences that distort its origin and intents; this secluded place allows for the discovery of Catholicism without such outside distractions.

Upon entry to the site, visitors experience a natural prairie setting.  Once inside the entry portal, the visitor is drawn to a central, tomb-like room naturally lit by a large light opening in the roof.  In the center of the room is a pool of water, the source of which is dripping from a metal sculpture symbolic of the Holy Spirit.  Also in this space is a conference and gathering room and an information area.

The chapel structure itself is 45 feet at its highest point, made of arching members of wood and steel.  As visitors enter the chapel, the water from the entry portal does as well, further symbolizing the presence of the shroud of Christ.  Etched in a prominent piece of glass at the front of the chapel is an image of the Holy Family.  With an open view of the prairie and river valley beyond, this image appears like spirits in heaven.

Visit the BCDM Architects website – here.