Important chapel datesWork began: April 9, 1920
Cornerstone laid: June 7, 1920
Consecrated: May 19, 1924
Kneelers fixed with rubber padding: June 12, 1948
New lights installed: Nov. 24, 1970
Windows repaired and releaded: Jan. 5, 1971
(Information from Important Events, 1840 to 1972)
Of all the buildings that Mother Mary Cleophas Foley erected during her time as general superior (1890-1926), it was the Blessed Sacrament Chapel that was “most reflective of her interior spirit,” wrote Sister Mary Roger Madden in the third volume of the Sisters of Providence history, “The Path Marked Out.” Ground was broken for this Chapel of Perpetual Adoration April 9, 1920. The chapel was consecrated May 19, 1924, by Bishop Joseph Chartrand, who called it the Chapel of Divine Love.
In the Catholic Church, perpetual adoration of the Eucharist is the adoration or worship of Jesus Christ present in the Holy Eucharist. Some churches have a special holder or monstrance where the Eucharist is displayed. Perpetual adoration refers to 24-hour worship or prayer before the Holy Eucharist or body of Christ. At one point, the Sisters of Providence practiced perpetual adoration of the Eucharist, starting first in the crypt of the Church of the Immaculate Conception and then in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Today, the hours of adoration are between 7 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
D.A. Bohlen and Son of Indianapolis, architects of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, also served as the architects for this Italian Renaissance chapel. Sister Mary Roger described the chapel in this way:
“Nothing was spared in the decorating of this chapel. The families and friends of the sisters contributed substantially to the marble, gold and silver as well as to the stained glass. … The baldachin [or canopy over the] altar, the work of the Deprato Company in their studios in Pietrasanta, Italy, was carved entirely from one block of flawless white Carrara marble from base to cross, and weighed 8,000 pounds.
“Although the chapel was a small one, it was uniquely suited to its purpose: that of private prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed upon the altar. The body of the chapel was simple and harmonious so as to avoid distracting the worshiper’s attention.”
Saint Mother Theodore Guerin had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, “How consoling is this mystery of the Eucharist! If we knew how to appreciate it, it would suffice to fortify and sustain us. Is there anything sweeter than to have a friend to whom we may at any hour confide our difficulties and our pain?”