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Motherhouse Chapel

chapel crowdThe IHM Motherhouse Chapel is a center of spiritual life for the IHM community and a place for prayer for area residents.

Memories of special and sacred moments are often shared by those who have spent time in prayer, worship, celebration and reflection in the Chapel.

In her 2007 work, A History of the Motherhouse Chapel, Sister Mary Jo (Patrick Ellen) Maher writes,

In 1932, during the construction of the new Motherhouse and Academy, Mother Ruth Hankerd and Sister Miriam Raymo realized that they could not afford to build a beautiful chapel for the Motherhouse. Even though they deferred building the Chapel, Sister Miriam knew that it was essential for the Motherhouse. She and Mother Ruth certainly wanted a chapel for the celebration of the Congregation’s Centennial in 1945. But in the 1930s, the Congregation was under terrible financial constraints with a large debt from the construction of Marygrove College in the mid-1920s and from the construction of the new Motherhouse and Academy in 1931-32. Nonetheless, during those years Sister Miriam managed to save money for the Chapel. She asked the Sisters’ families not to give the Sisters candy or flowers, but to send donations to the Chapel. By September 1938, she had enough money to begin. Mother Ruth broke ground for the Chapel on November 10, 1938. It was a simple ceremony.

On November 21, 1938, workmen began preparing the site…Begun in mid-February 1939 and completed in December, the Chapel was constructed in 10 months. The first Mass was said…on December 22, 1939, and the Chapel was dedicated on November 10, 1940.*

In 2012-13, the Chapel received important updates when the lighting, acoustics and wiring from the 1930s were all addressed. The extraordinarily lovely Mayer stained glass windows that have inspired generations of worshipers are carefully being restored to their original beauty; completion is expected to take another three-five years.

Visitors to the Motherhouse are welcome to stop in, pray, and let this sacred space enfold them.