In a hospital built in 1922 in Navajoland, Hozho Chapel has just been reopened as the building continues to be revisioned as a women’s and children’s healing center and a resource center for local businesses. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was part of the service during his visit to Navajoland. From the Farmington Daily Times’ story:
The Most Rev. Michael Curry read a dedication to the alter [sic] during the ceremony. Curry, who is the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, participated in the blessing as part of his five-day visit to the Navajo Nation.
“I can’t tell you how moved I am,” Curry said after the dedication.
After two members censed the altar with smoke from burning cedar, it was redressed with fair linen, candles, a Diné Bible, an old Oxford English Bible, a Navajo wedding basket and a large brass cross, the only piece left from the original chapel.
The project has been ongoing over several years:
When [the Right Reverend David] Bailey became bishop of Navajoland in 2010, the old hospital was being used as office space. He said three fires had occurred in the building because of electrical issues, and it was closed after the fire department determined it was unsafe to occupy.
“Navajo people were afraid that I was going to tear it down, but I never wanted to do that. They wanted to try to bring it back so that it was a place of healing again,” Bailey said.
Navajoland received a grant from the Episcopal Church in 2016, and that provided about two-thirds of the money for the renovation. But additional work has increased the amount, the Rev. Chan Anaya said.