Central to every Benedictine monastery is its chapel, where the Community gathers for Liturgy of the Hours, other formal prayer, and Eucharist.
Our current chapel is a modification of one built in 1938, midway between Stanbrook Hall and the College. Designed in the Romanesque style with rounded arches and a high vault, it had room for 500 to pray together.
By the 1980s, however, it was too large for the smaller Community and was not accessible for Sisters with walkers or in wheelchairs. At the same time, the College needed space to expand its library, which was located on the ground floor below the chapel.
It was decided that the best way to accommodate both monastery and college was for the chapel and library to switch spaces. In 1985 the building was renovated to create a new barrier-free chapel on the ground floor with three floors of library above it. The tall stained glass window of Our Lady Queen of Peace above the outside entrance can still be viewed in segments from inside the library, while the original vaulting is the ceiling of the library’s third floor.
Materials from the 1938 chapel were used in the new construction: the pews, marble from the original altar, wood paneling and carvings, and the stained-glass windows all were re-purposed. The corpus from the original crucifix now hangs in the Eucharistic Chapel behind the altar.