“Religion is the only entity that keeps and protects real art,” the late master woodcarver, Rudolph Vargas, once said. “In religion, I can grow and create.”

The internationally known wood carver from East Los Angeles found the sanctuary he sought at Santa Teresita, which possesses the largest collection of his work, more than 50 original woodcarvings. These, together with other arts, create a compelling culture of life at Santa Teresita that can be viewed throughout our Neighborhood of Care.

Full story at santa-teresita.org

The largest collection of Vargas works is at Santa Teresita Hospital in Duarte, adorning the walls of lobbies and meeting places, making the hospital somewhat of a tourist attraction even before Vargas’ death.

The chapel of the hospital is perhaps his greatest accomplishment, a virtual monument to Vargas’ inspired skill.

There are panels showing the Nativity and St. Joseph in his carpenter’s shop. There are depictions of St. Therese and St. Theresa of Avila, patronesses of the Carmelite Order, which administers the hospital. There is a dramatic rendering of the crucifixion of Christ in the 14-panel Stations of the Cross.

And there is, above the altar, the centerpiece of the chapel: the striking figure of Christ on the cross. The figure is, said doctors from the hospital, “anatomically perfect.”

From 1986 LA Times story.