The newly expanded Holy Child Chapel was recently blessed and dedicated in three ceremonies for the students and the Board of Trustees. As the renovation nears completion, we celebrate how this symbol of our faith, this spiritual center, has been an important part of our history and heritage.
When the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus moved to Euclid Avenue in 1931, establishing a chapel on the small campus was a priority. Creating a spiritual center, a space of retreat and reflection, was not only central to their daily lives but also to the foundation of faith they wanted to provide for students.
The Convent building was originally the home of artist DuBois Knight and what would become the first chapel on campus had been his painting studio. As a studio, the windows on the north side of the room provided a soft light for painting and later for the sisters a serene but beautiful cast for prayer. It was a fitting transformation, painting studio to chapel, as Cornelia Connelly was an artist who found solace in creating – painting was prayer to her.
The chapel remained in this location for over 60 years – many students received sacraments in the small room, many masses were celebrated and the sisters gathered there for daily prayers. At times it was a room filled with joy- when World War II ended and then sadness when word came that President Kennedy had been shot.
As Mayfield grew, the chapel, as a space for prayer and reflection, was often wherever it needed to be. First Eucharist and larger masses had moved to the auditorium and in the 1990s the sisters would use the Convent sunroom as a gathering place for evening prayers.
In the late 1990s, a new Holy Child Chapel was built as part of a larger multi-purpose building on the north side of the campus. Over the next 20 years, many celebrations took place within this space softly lit with blue stained glass adorned with flying doves and a special altar built with love by a 1944 Mayfield alumnus.
Today we are blessed to once again highlight the spirit and faith of our community with the newly expanded Holy Child Chapel. From the architect, MJS parent Hazim Rabadi to the large stained glass window featuring Cornelia Connelly with children created from the art work of alumna and parent of alumna Patty Wickman ’73, the renovated chapel has been a collaborative effort of many hearts and minds.
As Mayfield continues to move forward, this Holy Child Chapel, in all it offers and represents, remains a vital foundation in support of our mission.
For more about the Holy Child Chapel renovation, click here
.When we bless this chapel, it is not the building we bless but the people…for the gift of your prayers, the sharing of your faith and the bonds of community that exist and are reflected in the children….and the prayer is that the children will know how they are loved by many people- the life friends they will make, their families and by God.
~ Monsignor Connolly - excerpt from blessing at the Holy Child Chapel dedication May 2019