Munster, Indiana: Ultraviolet Apocalypse
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery
- 1628 Ridge Rd, Munster, IN
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery. Just east of the IL-IN border. I-80/94 exit 1 (Calumet Ave.). South one-half mile, then left on Ridge Rd. About a mile down Ridge Rd., on the right, at the Carmelite Shrines.
- Sundays; other days by appt. (Call to verify)
- RA Rates:
- Major Fun
Jesus raises the dead, in groovy black light colors, in the Memorial Chapel of The Grotto of the Holy Mother -- one of many memorable shrines at a Carmelite monastery. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Visitor Tips and News About Ultraviolet Apocalypse
Most of the grounds are drive-up accessible during the day, and they were extremely gracious about unlocking the indoor areas for our spontaneous weekday visit; we simply called ahead to check first. The outdoor shrines are beautiful, but the inside shrines were spectacular. Enormous, colorful, detailed, and well maintained.
The property is easily accessible with a cane, but some parts of the grottoes would not be wheelchair accessible without assistance. Parking was excellent, the outdoor area was comfortably shaded and we were never bothered by insects.
A bishop once told me a joke about the "ultraviolet apocalypse" shrine, so I think it's OK to have a sense of humor about it. You don't need to be Catholic to appreciate the artistry of these shrines and grottoes, just be respectful and don't walk on the holy stairs (they're clearly labeled).[The Agoraphobic Travel Guide, 07/03/2016]
Mount Carmel Monastery
We visited the monastery on a Wednesday. Bad luck. The J-room [deathbed of Jesus] is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. But you can still ascend the stairs, and seeing the huge grotto altar in the middle of the grounds is worth it.[Beth Dibbert, 07/18/2004]
July 2012: Photo added.
Mount Carmel Monastery - Holy Stairs
The information on your tips page is mostly correct except: Jesus is not surrounded by life-sized mourners, but by two near life-sized Roman soldiers, complete with weapons.
Adjacent to Jesus's "tomb room" is a fluorescent room done entirely in BLACK LIGHT! I only wish I could send you a photo. This room alone is worth the visit as it is so freaky.
The shrine is actually maintained very well! The founders are mostly Polish and they comprise the greatest percentage of visitors.
The "holy stairs" feature a sign informing you how you are to ascend them. Apparently, people make pilgrimages to climb them on their knees. No one was attempting the feat the day I visited.[Dona Kight, 10/26/2003]
Trip packing note: "Don't forget knee pads."
Mount Carmel Monastery - J's Deathbed
Tour a huge man-made cave, with a gemstone-encrusted interior to walk through as you view religious paintings and statues. In different sections you are allowed to light candles (provided) and pray. You can walk up stairs and view the area from the balcony on the top of the mount. You will see many monuments and statues on the grounds, including a monument dedicated to a priest who died in Auschwitz.
You may ascend the stairs to a monument of the crucifixion of Jesus (if I remember correctly) but only on your knees. Inside this monument you enter through a hall which leads you to a chapel containing a bone chilling lifesize statue of Jesus on his deathbed, (or this may be a sort of tomb). He is surrounded by full-size statues of mourners. This is really quite a shock to see if you weren't expecting it.
It seems to be an attraction for eastern Europeans, as all the visitors were speaking in foreign languages. The sad thing about it, is it has not been kept up like it should have been, but still, worth the effort.[Chris Lambert, 01/04/1998]