Our Chapel — a virtual tour

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“We assume as part of our mission the development of loving, prayerful, and welcoming communities.

Our communal prayer and our celebration of the Liturgy are our response to the dwelling of God among us. We find expressions of our communion…in celebration, in symbols, and worship.”

Boston CSJ Constitution Community Life, 2 and 4

Holy Family Chapel is a sacred space located at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston. Originally opened in 1969, the chapel has always been an inviting space which reflects the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph: that of connecting neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.

While archival documentation of original design is limited, research into the original concept created by Sister Louisella Walters, CSJ, reveals a striking resemblance to Notre Dame du Haut, in Ronchamp, France built between 1950-1954 and designed by Le Corbusier. To see how Sister Louisella’s model reflects Le Corbusier’s concept of light click HERE.  In the 1960s, the architects considered her design too radical and compromise move gave birth to the original design. As part of the overall Motherhouse renovations in 2003-2004, every effort was made to enhance Sister Louisella’s original vision. This renovation also sought to update the worship space so that it is in keeping with the latest liturgical guidelines for sacred space.

As you move through the open and welcoming GATHERING SPACE, a series of HERITAGE PANELS tell of the rich history and spirituality of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. A new FONT with flowing water recalls our baptismal call to holiness and wholeness in Christ and our mission of unity whereby we seek to connect neighborand neighbor with God. The AMBRY on the wall behind the Font holds the holy oils of the sick, catechumens, and chrism. Its design reflects the architecture of the chapel windows.

Chairs are designed to provide for flexibility and accessibility within the worship space. Wheel chairs can be easily placed within this space. Our sacred space offers the opportunity for public liturgy, including Eucharistic celebrations, Liturgy of the Hours, Taizé Prayer and other forms of public prayer.

The floor surface is a combination of bamboo and terrazzo. Its design, which begins in the gathering area near the Baptismal Font draws us into the worship space and creates a visual unity between font, ambry, altar, and ambo.

Technology has been installed that offers the opportunity for enhanced sound and multi-media presentations. Enhanced lighting as well as a heating, air conditioning, and ventilation system creates an environment conducive to meaningful prayer and inclusive celebration.

Liturgical articles from the original worship space have been refurbished including the Tabernacle, brass candle holders, procession cross, and paschal candle stand designed by Sister Louisella.

The oval ALTAR and AMBO are made of mahogany and brushed bronze. The materials and design were inspired by the chapel bell tower. The altar is “placed as to be truly the center” of this sacred space. The seating arrangement, allowing the CHOIR to be part of the worshipping assembly, completes the worship circle. The organ has been refurbished and a grand piano has been added.