Saint Mary's Basilica
Sprawling green lawns, life-size bronze statues, trees with roots that stretch for several feet across the ground, and a bubbling, ornate water fountain sound like components of a great park or museum.
But all these things can be found in the heart of downtown Phoenix, at the oldest Roman Catholic Parish -- and only basilica -- in Arizona.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Saint Mary's Basilica, for short) sits on the corner of Third and Monroe Streets, where it's been since its founding in 1881.
Franciscan Friars have staffed the basilica since 1895. Construction of Saint Mary's Basilica was completed in 1914 (with a dedication a year later), and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Statues of Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa, by Arizona artist Michael Myers.
Myers' works can be seen in Colleyville, Texas ("Mary and Little Jesus"), Rey, California ("Greeting Christ"), and Boulder, Colorado ("The Sower"). The three Myers sculptures on the Saint Mary's Basilica grounds in Phoenix all contain a minutia of details, right down to the wrinkle's on a nun's face.
Near the edge of the grounds, facing east, there's a sculpture of Mother Teresa, looking jovial. Myers' artistry and reverence for his subjects is apparent in the incredible details of these sculptures.
A mural depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe appearing before peasant Juan Diego.
"Circle of Peace" by Gary Price
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