Denver Newsroom, Dec 25, 2021 / 15:00 pm
The coronavirus pandemic has suspended efforts to save the Chapel of the Snows at McMurdo Station, the hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program. But one Catholic who regularly serves at the station has said he hopes the chapel has a permanent future at the station.
“We had probably the only place in the world where you would go to Midnight Mass (for Christmas) and have to wear sunglasses inside the church, because the sun was so bright,” said Robert Mullenax, a Catholic meteorologist who works for a NASA contractor.
“The Chapel of the Snows faces south and at midnight, with the sun not going down, the sun comes right through the window behind the altar. So if you really had sensitive eyes, people might actually wear sunglasses there.”
Mullenax has made eight trips to Antarctica for his job since 1993. The trips typically begin in mid-November and run through early or mid-January, so he has spent several Christmases there.