Santa Paula is about an hour and a half from where I live, and yesterday I drove on up, just because I could. (And because Thomas Aquinas College seemed like a cool place and I wanted to see it for myself.) I planned to arrive in plenty of time for the 7:30 AM Mass.
I should have left earlier. I arrived right at 7:30 AM and I wasn't sure whether I was late for Mass or not. This is the humble little entrance to the chapel:
And these are the imposing front doors.
Over them a Latin inscription in gold reads, "This is the house of God and the gate of Heaven-- so don't come waltzing in here late!"
I mustered my courage and pushed one of the heavy doors open. Mass hadn't started yet, thank goodness. :)
It was a TLM, very lovely. Here's a shot of the chapel that I took from the choir loft after Mass. You can see the coat of arms of Benedict XVI on the floor, and John Paul II's arms were there too. I thought that was a nice touch.
Afterward I walked around the campus. Didn't take long; it's a tiny college.
One thing I noticed was that no matter where I was, no matter what perspective I was looking from,
the chapel was the tallest and most noticeable feature of the scene.
Like in a medieval town.
Imagine the effect on the psyche of the people when their church is always visible, looming over everything else. And everyone goes to the same church.
When the sun had risen a bit and I returned to my car, I saw that it was the only car in the lot that had shade, because the shadow of the bell tower was falling on it. Turning around, I saw the sun perfectly eclipsed, and thought it made a pretty cool photograph.
Thus endeth my photo walking tour. :)