Saint Francis Chapel
A chapel has always been the “heart” of the University of Saint Francis. When Saint Francis College was moved from Lafayette, IN to the former Bass estate in Fort Wayne in 1944, the first Saint Francis Chapel was located in the former east drawing room of the Bass (Brookside) Mansion.
After Trinity Hall was constructed in 1949, the chapel was relocated in the southeast wing of that building, where it remained for many years.
In 1991, when the new Hutzell Athletic Center was completed on campus, the former small gymnasium at the west end of Trinity Hall became available for another use. After a complete renovation, the Saint Francis Chapel was moved to that space, where it remains today.
The altar, ambo, tabernacle, sanctuary light stand, statue shelves, and candle holders were made by Fr. Richard John, O.S.C., a former chaplain of the college. Fr. John, an artist at woodworking, made them from white oak taken from the trees on the campus.
Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross are a visual and spiritual pilgrimage tracing Jesus’ journey from his condemnation at the hand of Pontius Pilate to his crucifixion, death, and burial.
The fourteen images of Christ’s passion that hang in our chapel were a gift to the University of Saint Francis from the Rev. Dr. Scott and Mrs. Karen Shoaff.
The stations originally hung in Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Warsaw, IN, which was built in 1877. They were treasured by the Shoaffs and hung in the Simpson United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, where Rev. Shoaff was pastor. During his tenure there, Rev. Shoaff wrote a devotional and taught his congregation how to pray the Stations of the Cross.
Before moving from Fort Wayne, the Shoaffs saw to it that the stations were carefully and lovingly transported to their new home in our chapel.
Stained Glass Windows
Sr. M. JoEllen Scheetz, O.S.F., former president of the college, suggested the theme and general concept of the design for the windows, which were then executed by stained glass artist and college employee Steven E. Knight and art student Greta Heeden Sirois (B.A., 1995). The technical work was done by students Stacy Looser Amatt (B.S.N., 1993; M.S.N., 1997) and Charlene Buechner, who made the color selection of the glass, and did the cutting, grinding, soldering, and assembling of the windows.