Saturday, February 24, 2018

Portable Altars & Roadside Shrines

Recently David Clayton recommended that Catholics think seriously about ways to decorate with holy imagery buildings, gardens, businesses, and other places where non-Catholics might see them and either be prompted to a conversation or simply take that image into their souls and start living with it, a seed of a possible future response to grace. When I posted his article on Facebook, the carpenter who makes what must certainly be the world's most beautiful portable wooden altars, Rick Murphey, responded with a photo of a crucifix he had built in the style of European roadside shrines, and said that people could order such shrines from him.

Mr. Murphey had come to my attention in another way, when a priest a few weeks ago shared with me photos of his new portable altar — the work for which St. Joseph's Apprentice is best known. This altar was described to me as one-of-a-kind, made of cherry wood instead of hemlock but dyed with a red mahogany. It weighs 20 lbs.

Mr. Murphey wrote to me: "I am approaching altar #300. The good St. Joseph seems to send me a steady supply of orders, so I am always working about 2-3 months out."

Here is his contact information if you are interested in either a portable altar or a roadside shrine:
Rick Murphey
St. Joseph's Apprentice
17310 W. Left Fork Rd.
Hauser, ID 83854
(208) 773-1733
Email is preferred contact:

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