Saint Joseph Chapel.

This past weekend Michael and I were honored to watch two of our college friends marry each other! Weddings of friends are always special, but this one meant just that much more because of where it was held – Saint Joseph Chapel on the campus of Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Seton Hill is our alma mater, as well as where we met. In addition, we spent our first year as a married couple in Greensburg and it has many sweet memories!  Needless to say, we had a great time visiting with friends at the wedding and spending some time on campus together, reminiscing. Just before leaving town, we stopped back at the Chapel for a visit and, of course, so I could take some pictures. :) In this final week of Lent, I couldn’t think of a better time to share! Also, my sweet friend and college roommate, Emily (who is now the Associate Director of Development!!) sent along some additional information on its history so I could include that as well!

Enjoy, it is certainly a special place for us!!

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“Seton Hill University, founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1883, is an innovative center for learning, offering a variety of educational opportunities to diverse populations.

Historically, the identity of Seton Hill University was rooted in a strong connection to the Catholic Church through the founding religious congregation, the Sisters of Charity. The values and teachings of the Sisters were evident in the academic curriculum and in student life.

Saint Joseph Chapel, “the heart of Seton Hill,” with its pillars of rose Georgian marble, intricately sculpted high and side altars of Carerra marble, 18 stained glass windows (including two 16 foot rose windows and a circular angel window in the ceiling above the altar) and hand carved wooden pews, was dedicated on November 18, 1896.”

(Source: Seton Hill University Wesbite.)

Chapel-9831Chapel-9823The pipe organ was a gift from Andrew Carnegie, a few years after the chapel’s completion. It represents the first to be donated by him to a private institution.

The main altar (as well as two side altars), also gifts, are of Carrera marble, imported from Italy. The main altar pictured above was given to the institution by Ellen Doran, (sister to the then Mother Superior, Sister Josephine Doran), in honor of her parents.

Chapel-9825Chapel-9807Donations from the families of the sisters of Charity paid for the original pews. They were handmade by Henry Engbert, at master cabinet-maker. Made of fine quartered oak, they are decorated with hand-carved Acanthus leaves to set the pattern which was carried through in the frescoing of the walls and ceiling.

Chapel-9835The ornate stations of the cross were also donations from clergy members at the time.

Gorgeous, custom, stained glass windows fill the chapel, which allows natural sunlight in at all times.

Chapel-9816The altar to the Blessed Mother was a gift from the parents of one of the earliest Sisters of Charity, Sister Mary Louis Flick. The original Sisters and their families donated their jewelry to be melted down and reformed as the Virgin Mary’s halo. Their love and devotion to this place is evident in their care and sacrifice in furnishing it!Chapel-9796

Future SHU Alum? :)

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Stunning!

I am so proud to be a Seton Hill Alumni and to have been a part of this wonderful community. For more information, visit their website here: Seton Hill University.

xo,

Mary

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