Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel
Capital Priorities and Our Holy Cross, Catholic Heritage
Supporting our growing faith community is a capital priority
We must make critical updates to the spiritual home on campus, and we would now like to do so through:
- renovation of the current Chapel
- construction of new Campus Ministry offices, and
- creation of an all-faiths meditation garden
These facilities will transform the worship experience for regular worshipers, as well as other members of the St. Edward’s family, providing them with a venue for robust celebration of faith, in addition to supporting the leaders whose passion for spiritual outreach transforms lives on campus. We are inspired by the possibilities we have to give our friends and family members a venue that more accurately reflects our deep reverence for our Catholic character and our sincere interest in fostering faith development.
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:
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.
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
The proposed schedule begins design phase of the project in April 2012, running all the way to May 2013. This will provide the design team and facilities committee with the time needed to carefully plan spaces that reflect our respect for our Catholic, Holy Cross character.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.