A small group of passionate church members have created a not-so-small miracle in the tiny, unincorporated town of Conejos, Colorado. Starting in 2008, Ronald Rael, an architect and artist who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, started the design of the labyrinth.
Rael was born in Conejos and remains connected to his Southern Colorado community. Alfonso Abeyta and a small team of volunteers from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the oldest church in Colorado, turned some 32,000 handmade adobe bricks into an awe-inspiring shrine to honor the valley’s early settlers, who built almost exclusively with adobe.
The prayer labyrinth was designed to embody the Mysteries of the Rosary. Like the Rosary which is made up of 20 “mysteries” (life events of Jesus and Mary), the prayer labyrinth, with walls six feet high, is divided into four sections which each contain five small meditation chapels. The labyrinth has several resting places or nichos along the path for contemplation and prayer.
Though the labyrinth was finished in 2022, volunteers continue to prepare the area for visitors on prayer pilgrimages and labyrinth enthusiasts alike.