Among the Chapel's special features are original mosaics and stained glass by the world-famous Jesuit artist, Father Marko Ivan Rupnik. Renowned as an artist, theologian, author and spiritual director, Father Rupnik was chosen by Pope John Paul II to design his personal chapel at the Vatican dedicated to the Mother of the Redeemer.
The Sacred Heart University Chapel was designed by Sasaki Associates, a world-class architectural firm that specializes in university projects. The company won first prize in the international design competition for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, and its academic portfolio includes major projects at such schools as Harvard University, Boston College, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Trinity College in Hartford.
The chapel building and grounds will form a pivotal campus landmark, enhancing student life while serving as a powerful symbol of Sacred Heart's Catholic identity. According to the University's president, Dr. Anthony J. Cernera, "it is only fitting that an institution so deeply rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition create a space of great beauty, solely dedicated to the pursuit and expression of faith. The University Chapel will represent the literal and figurative centerpiece of the campus community.
"By devoting such a visible, central location to the Chapel, the University makes a proud, strong statement about the role of faith in the life of the University community. It invites all of the members of our community to deepen their relationship with God and their dedication to the service of others," he concluded.
The Chapel's principal sanctuary will welcome 500 persons, with a smaller Chapel for daily Mass and private prayer that will seat 50. Its most prominent mosaics depict the Incarnation, the Resurrection, and Pentecost, central themes of Christian belief. There are outdoor gardens, and a spacious narthex - or foyer - suitable for public gatherings. The building and grounds are designed to suggest one of the defining themes of the Second Vatican Council: the Church as the Pilgrim People of God. The Chapel roof consists of copper folds in the manner of a nomadic tent, for example, and the narthex has walls of glass to demonstrate the intersection between daily life and the life of prayer.
The Chapel's bell tower holds four unique bronze bells, hand-cast in the Netherlands. The largest one weighs 1,500 pounds and measures 41 inches in diameter; the smallest weighs 447 pounds and is 27 inches in diameter.
Photo on top of Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, S.J. directing some construction traffic at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. Photo on the bottom is Fr. Marko at work on a piece, I do not think it is from Sacred Heart Chapel.