Going to the Chapel

By Martin McGovern in collaboration with Rev. Robert Kruse, C.S.C. ’55

BEFORE THE CHAPEL OF MARY opened in 1978, the College’s main chapel had been located in a cramped converted basement storage room in Duffy Academic Center.

During crowded weekend liturgies, students sometimes fainted and a Campus Ministry report noted, “A tall man can hardly stand erect without fear of bumping his head on a low ceiling.” Fast-forward 36 years and Stonehill is now home to several chapels, all of which offer comfortable places for worship. Here is a peek at some of them.

Stonehill College Chapel of Mary


Appropriately, this chapel is located at the virtual center of the campus.

WITH BEAUTIFUL STAINED GLASS windows and a handcrafted church organ, the Chapel of Mary offers a spacious hexagon interior and seating for approximately 225 people. A warm and inviting space for worship and reflection, it plays a major role in the spiritual life of the College.

The chapel is popular with alumni for their wedding ceremonies, and many renew their vows when attending Reunion each spring. In the wake of 9/11, in which three alumni and one Holy Cross priest were killed, the Stonehill community gathered in grief and solidarity in this chapel.

During the academic year, Mass is said daily and, on major religious holidays, Campus Ministry organizes feasts. Christmas Eve Mass is especially beautiful and has attracted many local alumni, neighbors and friends. Students organize Sunday night Mass, with the student choir providing songs of praise.

Stonehill College Chapel of Mary

 Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel at Stonehill College


Located on the first floor of Donahue Hall.

OUR LADY OF SORROWS CHAPEL served as the seminarians’ chapel in the days before the College was established in 1948, and its stained glass windows and Stations of the Cross date from those early seminary days.

The Stations of the Cross are redolent of the blue and white ceramic work for which the Della Robbia family of 15th century Florence was renowned. A rare work in wood by the late Italian artist and sculptor Enrico Manfrini, depicting the Madonna, graces a wall in the chapel.

Several years ago, the chapel underwent a renovation, which made the space in Donahue Hall lighter and brighter and a more welcoming place for pause and reflection in the midst of our comings and goings.

Daily Mass is celebrated at 8 a.m. during the academic year, and the alumni chaplain celebrates the Monthly Mass of Alumni Intentions at 8 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month.

Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel at Stonehill College

 Chapel of St. Joseph, the Worker at Stonehill College


The main chapel in Holy Cross Center, it is located at the front of the building.

WITH A EUROPEAN INSPIRED design, the Chapel of St. Joseph opened in 1962. It has high walls with colorful ribbed windows and a white marble altar. The distinctive Stations of the Cross combine a rustic tone with an El Greco feeling.

The chapel has carved wooden doors featuring St. Joseph and the Holy Family in one panel and the Mother and Child in the other panel.

While residents of Holy Cross Center sometimes use the chapel for prayer or contemplation, it is used today primarily by Holy Cross Family Ministries, which has its headquarters next to Holy Cross Center.

Students more often use a small back chapel in the Center, which easily accommodates 30 or more [see photo directly below]. This smaller chapel is popular with students, who pack into it for a regular Tuesday night Mass, with many of them preferring to sit on the floor rather than on the benches.

The Chapel of St. Joseph, the Worker at Stonehill College

 St. André Bessette Chapel at Stonehill College


Opened in 2010, this chapel is located on the fourth floor of New Hall.

THE COLLEGE'S NEWEST CHAPEL is named in honor of St. André Bessette (1845-1937), the first member of the Congregation of Holy Cross to be declared a saint.

The view from its windows out over Ames Pond is spectacular, and the St. André Bessette Chapel has a bright, understated interior design befitting the legacy of St. André, a humble doorkeeper who ministered to the sick and needy of Montreal at St. Joseph’s Oratory.

A small bronze statue of St. André stands in one corner of the chapel, which can accommodate 50 worshippers and serves 250 student residents who, day or night, can take a moment away for quiet reflection or prayer.

Vice President for Mission Rev. James Lies, C.S.C., who lives in New Hall, often celebrates Mass in this chapel, which provides an intimate setting for the celebration of the Eucharist.

Ste. Andre Bessette Chapel at Stonehill College