Cross In The Woods National Shrine

Cross In the Woods, 7078 M-68, Indian River, Michigan, Združene države Amerike

Website of the Sanctuary

+1 231-238-8973

Every day: 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM (Winter – 5:00 PM)

Cross In The Woods

Cross In The Woods National Shrine. The sculpture of the crucified Christ was titled “The Man on the Cross” by the renowned Michigan sculptor Marshall Fredericks.

It is made of bronze 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick. It weighs seven tons, is twenty-eight feet tall from head to toe, and the outstretched arms span twenty-one feet.

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Cross In The Woods National Shrine

The Holy Stairs

According to tradition, Jesus had to climb twenty-eight stairs leading to the throne of Pontius Pilate where He was condemned to death. These steps were later found and brought to Rome in the year 326, where they were known as the Scala Santa. People began to climb these Holy Stairs on their knees praying and meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ.

In 1956 these twenty-eight steps were built for that same purpose. In 1961 relics of many different saints were placed into each step. These relics are no longer contained in the stairs. Many pilgrims today continue the practice of climbing these Holy Stairs on their knees in prayer and meditation leading to the Cross.

Cross In The Woods National Shrine

The Doll Museum

The Shrine is privileged to be the home for the largest collection of dolls dressed in traditional habits of men and women religious communities in the United States. The inspirational collection has been the sole work of Wally and Sally Rogalski. Starting in 1945 as a young girl, Sally began to dress dolls in traditional habits. Throughout the years Sally wanted to “preserve a bit of the history of the Catholic Church”.

As Sally would dress the dolls, her husband Wally supported her work and assisted in constructing and setting up displays that depicted the work and different ministries of the men’s and women’s communities. For many years, the dolls were kept in their home in Saginaw, Michigan. In 1964 the Rogalski’s donated 230 dolls to the Shrine with the only instruction, “that no admission charge would ever be asked, so that people, rich and poor alike, would be able to see them”.

Through correspondence and interviews with members of many religious orders, Sally was able to provide authentic dress. She even sent some of her dolls to religious communities who volunteered to furnish the habit and dress the doll. The collection has increased to over 525 dolls and 20 mannequins.

Gift Shop & Doll Museum Summer – 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Winter – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The Holy Stairs

According to tradition, Jesus had to climb twenty-eight stairs leading to the throne of Pontius Pilate where He was condemned to death. These steps were later found and brought to Rome in the year 326, where they were known as the Scala Santa. People began to climb these Holy Stairs on their knees praying and meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ.

In 1956 these twenty-eight steps were built for that same purpose. In 1961 relics of many different saints were placed into each step. These relics are no longer contained in the stairs. Many pilgrims today continue the practice of climbing these Holy Stairs on their knees in prayer and meditation leading to the Cross.

The Doll Museum

The Shrine is privileged to be the home for the largest collection of dolls dressed in traditional habits of men and women religious communities in the United States. The inspirational collection has been the sole work of Wally and Sally Rogalski. Starting in 1945 as a young girl, Sally began to dress dolls in traditional habits. Throughout the years Sally wanted to “preserve a bit of the history of the Catholic Church”.

As Sally would dress the dolls, her husband Wally supported her work and assisted in constructing and setting up displays that depicted the work and different ministries of the men’s and women’s communities. For many years, the dolls were kept in their home in Saginaw, Michigan. In 1964 the Rogalski’s donated 230 dolls to the Shrine with the only instruction, “that no admission charge would ever be asked, so that people, rich and poor alike, would be able to see them”.

Through correspondence and interviews with members of many religious orders, Sally was able to provide authentic dress. She even sent some of her dolls to religious communities who volunteered to furnish the habit and dress the doll. The collection has increased to over 525 dolls and 20 mannequins. 

Gift Shop & Doll Museum Summer – 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Winter – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

  • Weekdays Tuesday – Friday – 8:30 AM, 12:00 PM
  • Saturdays 4:30 PM – Summer: Outside from Memorial Day to Labor Day (weather permitting), Winter: inside
  • Sundays 8:30 AM – Always inside church
    10:30 AM – Summer: Outside from Memorial Day to Labor Dy (weather permitting), Winter: inside

The Man on the Cross

The sculpture of the crucified Christ was titled “The Man on the Cross” by the renowned Michigan sculptor Marshall Fredericks. It is made of bronze 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick. It weighs seven tons, is twenty-eight feet tall from head to toe, and the outstretched arms span twenty-one feet. The figure of Christ is attached by thirteen bolts 30″ long and 2″ thick that were made when the figure was cast in Norway. Fredericks wanted to portray Christ in a peaceful way. It was his dream to “give the face an expression of great peace and strength and offer encouragement to everyone who viewed the Cross”.

Christ is symbolized just at the moment when He commends Himself to His Father. The sculptor received special permission from the Vatican to omit the crown of thorns and the wound on Jesus’ side. In 1992 because of damage to the crucifix caused by weathering and pollution, it was decided to clean the corpus. The Jensen Foundation for Art Conservation spent several weeks cleaning the corrosion from the bronze figure. It was then lacquered and waxed. Fredericks requested that the Cross be painted in a light tan tone to emphasize the bronze corpus. The corpus is waxed by volunteers every two years.

The Holy Family

The Holy Family is located in the outdoor sanctuary area of the Shrine. The statue, titled “A Quiet Moment” and meant to represent family intimacy, was built by sculptor Timothy P. Schmalz.

Our Lady of the Highway Shrine

The statue of Our Lady of the Highway, carved from Carrara marble, was a gift to the Shrine in 1957 from Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kuhlman from Kentucky. It was originally placed in the center of the front yard near the highway, but was later moved to the lower grounds of the Shrine. She has been the patroness of millions of travelers and pilgrims who visit the Cross In The Woods.

Shrine of St. Peregrine the Cancer Saint

In the early 1960′s the Shrine to St. Peregrine was built at the entrance of the Shrine where the present Hall of Saints in located. In 1986 the statue was moved to the lower grounds. After a fire at this area in 1994, the statue was placed in a new gazebo structure. This provides a place for quiet reflection and prayer.

Shrine of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

The bronze statue of Kateri Tekakwitha, as depicted by renowned Canadian sculptor, Timothy P. Schmalz, was placed on the grounds during the summer of 2001. Kateri Tekakwitha, called the “lily of the Mohawks” was born in 1656 near Auriesville, New York. Her mother, a Christian, was a member of the Algonquin nation and her father was a Chief of the Mohawk tribe. Kateri lost her parents and brother to an epidemic of smallpox. She was adopted by an uncle. A convert to Christianity at age eighteen, she endured much suffering because of her desire to live a celibate and Christian lifestyle. It was the practice of this Indian maiden to erect crosses in trees in the woods, to make small Chapels.

Kateri was forced to flee to Canada to a mission that the Jesuits has established for Native American converts. She was noted for her deep prayer life and special devotion to the Eucharist. Kateri died at the age of twenty four, and was declared a Blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1980. She was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012 In the scene above Kateri appears to be walking out of the woods, but gazes back at the Cross one more time. The turtles on the base of the statue remind us that her father, a Mohawk Chief, belonged to the Turtle Clan. The statue is dedicated to the founder of the Shrine and Parish, Msgr. Charles D. Brophy.

Fr. McGivney Memorial

Fr. Michael McGivney was born August 12, 1852 in Waterbury, Connecticut, one of 13 children. At the age of 16, Michael traveled to Quebec, Canada where he registered at the French-run College of St. Hyacinthe to prepare him for seminary admission.

After 2 years at Our Lady of Angels Seminary and four years at St. Mary’s Seminary he was ordained. He offered his first Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Waterbury. His priestly ministry began on Christmas Day, 1877, as curate of St. Mary’s Church.

One of the responsibilities of St. Mary’s priests was pastoral care on inmates in the city jail. He worked closely with the young people of St. Mary’s, holding catechism classes and organizing a total abstinence society to fight alcoholism. In an age when parish clubs and fraternal societies had wide popularity, Fr. Michael sought information that would help the Catholic laymen to organize themselves into a benefit society. The Connecticut legislature granted a charter to the Knight of Columbus on March 29th establishing it as a legal corporation. Thus was born the “Knights of Columbus”, in 1882, with their core principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism.

Father McGivney was struck with a severe case of pneumonia in January 1890. Although various treatments were tried, his health continued to decline and he died August 14. Delegates were present at his funeral from almost every one of the 57 Knights of Columbus councils that had been founded in the Order’s first eight years. Today, there are over 15,000 councils.

To mark their 100th anniversary in 1982, the Knights of Columbus brought the remains of Father McGivney from Waterbury back to St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, where he founded the Order. There he now rests, in a setting in which daily Mass is offered for deceased Knights and prayers are said in his honor.

Fr. Michael McGivney was declared Venerable in 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted in North America and United States