Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel

Supporting our Growing Faith Community

Plans for the long-awaited renovation of Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel are finally becoming a reality. The early stages of work have already begun with construction and renovation expected to be completed for an opening in the fall of 2014. The newly renovated Chapel will provide an environment for worship that is beautiful, intimate, and large enough to meet the needs of our student population.

Though the construction has been fully funded though gifts from generous supporters and funds from the university’s budget, Campus Ministry staff have identified a number of important needs for the liturgical environment that are not included in the project budget.

A Complete Worship Space

Some of these elements, like altar cloths, are simple, while others like the tabernacle, are of great significance. However, all are necessary to complete the liturgical environment in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel.

Though many of the items were already in the Chapel before renovations began, many are in poor repair, some are simply the wrong size for the new space, and all of these features should be thoughtfully chosen with the intention of fitting into the newly designed Chapel.

Your Support - The Final Stage

Your gift will help create a fully realized liturgical environment for our students and faith community, and will meet the needs identified by Campus Ministry. The fundraising drive to complete the Chapel’s liturgical environment will conclude during Homecoming Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday, February 23, 2014.

If you would like to make a gift to support the liturgical environment of Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, please call (512) 233-1401, or send a check to St. Edward's University | Office of University Advancement | 3001 S. Congress Avenue | Austin, TX | 78704. Or make your gift securely online. Thank you!

Scope of the Project

Renovation of Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel
 

Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel currently occupies the oldest unreconstructed building on campus. Originally built in 1897, it served as Exhibition Hall, an auditorium, Abbey Theatre, an engineering shop, and a rifle range before being dedicated as Our Lady of Victory Chapel in 1947 and given its present name in 1973. 

While the university has been a wise steward of its resources by repurposing this building, it has housed worshipers for more than sixty years and now needs to be renovated and improved in order to meet our needs and fully express our Catholic, Holy Cross mission.  The project will also address some existing inadequacies, including: 

1.) Inconvenient facilities for the Sacraments

The current Chapel has no confessional booth, requiring all penitents to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Father Rick Wilkinson’s, CSC office in Mang House. Furthermore, the tabernacle we have is not immovable and its placement during Mass could be improved were it to be placed permanently for adoration in a more suitable space. The orientation of the baptismal font is also problematic. In addition, facilities for other Catholic traditions, such as Stations of the Cross and adoration are not well realized. 

2.) Overcrowding during Sunday evening Mass

The existing configuration of the Chapel’s interior is not ideal given the size of our faith community.  It has been stretched to capacity so that the Mass overflows with worshipers, particularly our Sunday evening Mass, during which some students stand because of the limitations of the space.  The renovation will make better use of the Chapel’s space to accommodate existing worshipers, while providing some room to grow as we project modest enrollment increases in the coming years.

 

 

          

 

Construction of new Campus Ministry offices

 

The Office of Campus Ministry is led by Father Peter Walsh, CSC, who oversees a staff of one brother and seven laypeople. While Campus Ministry and its spiritual outreach take place all over campus through worship services, interfaith celebrations, retreats, and educational sessions about Catholicism, the staff and volunteers who inspire our spiritual development office in Mang House. This facility is no longer adequate for the good work that takes place within it.  We will demolish Mang House and reconstruct offices better suited for the students, staff, and Brothers who rely on this space. 

Creation of an all-faiths Meditation Garden

 

We envision a quiet space for contemplative reflection that adjoins the new Campus Ministry offices and the Chapel. This space will be designed to attract students of all faiths to the Catholic spiritual center of campus.  It will encourage self-discovery and offer a retreat from the rigors of academia and the distractions of  

Progress to date and timeline for completion
 

Construction and renovation will begin in the fall of 2013, and are expected to be completed for an opening in the fall of 2014.

 

 

          

 

Pictured are visualizations of how the architect initially imagined the meditation garden (at left), and an adjoining deck (at right).  Also visible in the picture at right is the idea to use glass to create a “see-through” design for the Campus Ministry offices.

While the design of the Meditation Garden and Campus Ministry offices will change, these sketches represent the architect’s vision for the atmosphere of the spaces. 

Additional Proposed Project
 

In memory of Dr. Ed Shirley, who was a Professor of Religious and Theological Studies at St. Edward's for more than 25 years, his family and friends invite gifts for The Dr. Ed Shirley Memorial at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel. Click here for more information about the project and giving.

For additional information, or to make a gift in support of Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, please contact Tony Weber at 512.223.1401 or anthonyw@stedwards.edu.