Sacred Heart Chapel is center-point of our monastic life, for it is here that we gather morning, noon, and evening to praise God, offer thanksgiving, and pray for the needs of the world. Completed in 1931, this structure features Neo-Gothic architecture and a native sandstone façade. There are two sets of stained glass windows. Most of the windows, including the triptych in the apse and the rose window, were created by The Munich Studio in Chicago, IL and are part of the original chapel construction. The clerestory stained glass windows were added in July 1954, designed by the Bernardini Studio in New York in conjunction with Sister Imelda McAninch and fabricated in Pietrosanto, Italy. The east-west orientation of the chapel is in accord with an ancient Christian tradition in which the apse faces the rising sun, anticipating the scriptural promise of Christ’s Second Coming.
In the nave of the chapel, the vaulted ceiling rises to 45 feet above the chapel floor. The choir stalls, added in 1938 and where the Sisters and their guests gather to chant the Liturgy of the Hours, are located to the eastern side of the main altar. Pews, also from 1938, fill the western side of the nave. This is where the Sisters gather with guests to celebrate daily Eucharist. Centrally located as the focal point of the chapel is a simple yet beautiful wooden altar, representing the Risen Christ who is at the center of our lives–offering and being offered for the glory of God.
The craftsmanship and beauty of the chapel are meant to move the human spirit toward praise of God, drawing minds and hearts to the Maker of everything good and beautiful. The many depictions of saints, angels, and images from the life of our Lord serve to instruct, inspire, and challenge us as day after day, year after year, decade after decade, we gather in this house of prayer and praise.