Our Lady of the Snows celebrates 30 years in Alta

Friday, Mar. 29, 2024
Our Lady of the Snows celebrates 30 years in Alta + Enlarge
Celebrating Mass in honor of Our Lady of the Snows’ 30th anniversary are (from right) Father John Norman, Bishop Oscar A. Solis and Father Rodelio Ignacio. Deacon Greg Werking (left) assisted.
By Linda Petersen
Intermountain Catholic

ALTA — At a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Oscar A. Solis on March 24, local Catholics and visiting skiers honored the 30th anniversary of the dedication of Our Lady of the Snows, a chapel in Alta where Masses are held during the ski season.

Concelebrating the Mass were Father Rodelio Ignacio, administrator of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Sandy; and Father John Norman, a retired priest of the diocese who ministered to Our Lady of the Snows for many years. Fr. Norman now lives in New Mexico.

The chapel, with its large windows facing the ski slopes, sometimes is used for weddings; eight were celebrated there last year, said parishioner John Lippert.

The building was constructed on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service, which also allows it to be used by the town of Alta as a community center.

The original building on the site was destroyed by an avalanche in 1983.

“With the help of parishioners and locals up in the Alta area we were able to rebuild the facility,” said Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general emeritus, who dedicated the existing building on March 27, 1994.

“I think it is important to have a presence in the ski resorts,” he said. “The ski resorts are such an important part of Utah’s life, and we welcome visitors for skiing and snowboarding, and the locals enjoy offering hospitality to those who come. So, I think it’s part of our little effort to be hospitable as a Church, a witness welcoming others, giving others an opportunity to pray and gather for celebrations.”

Usually about 20 people attend the weekly Masses; about five of them are locals, Lippert said.

Since Fr. Norman’s retirement, various priests have celebrated Masses at Our Lady of the Snows as their schedules and other responsibilities allow.

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