Sacred space receives new light and new life

By Mount Mary University

Posted on December 14, 2021

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Our Lady Chapel, refurbished over the spring and summer, glows with renewed spirit.

The restoration was designed to bring out the beauty of this sacred space and included new paint on the walls and ceiling, new window shades, carpeting and energy efficient LED lighting. The corbels and medallions that line the walls just below the ceiling now bear touches of gold.

Many members of the campus community got involved in this project. Wendy Allstrom-Ried ’89 (bottom far right) was one of the alumnae who refinished the pews, while Steve Pharr, the husband of President Christine Pharr, Ph.D. (bottom inside left), removed carpeting, stripped, sanded and stained the step leading to the altar.

The new renovations were in place for the Mass of the Holy Spirit in September (see left) and some updates continue and should be finished in time for the Advent season: Josephine Niemann, SSND, directs the Liturgical Fabric Arts Center in St. Louis, and designed two new sets of banners and wall hangings to be displayed in front of the altar and the lecturn.

The former confessionals are being converted into alcoves featuring statues of Mary from different cultures, and the frames of the Stations of the Cross, painted on metal by Mary Leo Hargarten, SSND, are being refinished.  

Weekly Masses are held at noon Wednesdays during the school year. For more information email