Other Stations of the Cross to visit

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander
Stations of the Cross begin on the grounds of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church east of the new sanctuary at 105 Ranch to Market Road 1431. Inside the original chapel, walls are adorned with the emblems etched in granite. Another outdoor trail winds through oaks and cedars at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 10063 Cypress Mill Road in Cypress Mill, just into Blanco County.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

 

Although the Church at Horseshoe Bay has instituted a new Stations of the Cross feature this Easter season, the Highland Lakes communities share three more of the walks through the passion of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection that have become a shared tradition over the years.

Two are located at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 105 Ranch to Market Road 1431 East, and a third is found at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 10063 Cypress Mill Road, in Cypress Mill, just across Llano and Burnet County lines into Blanco County.

The original St. John sanctuary was constructed entirely of stone from Granite Mountain and, when it was dedicated in 1961, guests found the walls between stained glass windows lined with engraved images of the Stations of the Cross. Although replaced last year by a new sanctuary, the original historical structure is still in use and visitors may view those embellishments in the quiet, cool solitude of the original chapel.

St. John's second Stations of the Cross winds through the grounds behind the church. The path now begins behind and to the east of the new sanctuary.

The Rev. Jairo Lopez, who served St. John the Evangelist Parish some 15 years, has become widely know for his works in mosaics that not only adorn both Marble Falls chapels, St. Paul the Apostle Chapel in Horseshoe Bay and other sacred and secular sites around the state, including the obelisk of the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

His portrayals of scenes of the passion of Christ, each illuminated with glowing halos, top stone monuments in the rustic landscape.

The cries of the parish peacocks can often be heard during a tour. Peacocks are an old religious symbol adopted by Christians adopted as the symbol of immortality.

The choice for the Stations of the Cross in Cypress Mill, as in Horseshoe Bay is rustic crosses.

Shortly after the arrival in 2008 of the Rev. Tommy Bye, current rector, the stations project took formal shape as the Eagle Scout project of Matthew Gray, a member of one of the congregations families, and Boy Scout Troop 52 that met at Emmaus Catholic Church in Lakeway.

Paved pathways now meander through the wildflowers, old oaks and cedars surrounding the church.

“We walk the stations every Sunday during Lent and visitors are welcome any time,” said Sandi Burleson, church secretary. “People often stop.

“We have bikers who turn around to visit; and I'm not talking just about bicyclists. I mean motorcycles.”

The drive to the church is a popular one through the Hill Country. From Marble Falls, travelers drive south on US 281 and turn east (left) on Farm to Market Road 962 just before Round Mountain. St. Luke's is on the left approximately 7 miles out. The historic structure is easily identified by the native stone from local ranches from which it was constructed by a tiny congregation in the 1950s.

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