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Chapel celebrates past, present and future

Concordia's Loyola Chapel holds fête to kick off historical exhibit
May 1, 2012
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By Lesley De Marinis

The past, present and future of the Loyola Chapel, built in 1933, was celebrated at an event on April 25 that kicked off a historic exhibition that is on display until the end of December.

The exhibit, featuring newspaper clippings and old photographs from the Concordia and McCord Museum archives, was compiled by fête organizer Candice Tarnowski in collaboration with Archivist Emerita Nancy Marrelli and Mark and Polly Schofield.

Pinwheels welcome visitors to the Loyola Chapel fête on April 25.
Pinwheels welcome visitors to the Loyola Chapel fête on April 25. | Photo by Eric Tschaeppeler

“I think that people who spend time on the campus really appreciate getting a sense of its history, what struggles, sacrifices and celebrations made this place what it is and contribute to it still being totally alive,” says Tarnowski.

As a part of Multi-faith Chaplaincy, the 80-year-old building that was once a Jesuit prayer space is now a community space for people of all religious backgrounds and walks of life. 

“The evolution of the chapel has really reflected a new way of searching for meaning and for connectedness and for being together in a space,” says Tarnowski.

Over the past few years the chapel and the Multi-faith Chaplaincy have hosted a wide range of events and activities showcasing spiritual growth, well-being, social engagement and community. Such events include the Loyola Craft Fair, Holidays Around the World, monthly sacred dance gatherings and yoga, as well as poetry writing and visioning sessions.

Archivist Emerita Nancy Marrelli leads a tour of the Loyola Chapel exhibition.
Archivist Emerita Nancy Marrelli leads a tour of the Loyola Chapel exhibition. | Photo by Eric Tschaeppeler

The space has been used for weddings, theatre productions, student group gatherings, and musical events. It is also available to anyone looking for a quiet place to study or a moment to reflect.

“We’re one of the rare places on both Loyola and Sir George Williams campuses where you can just ‘be’,” says Loyola Chapel Administrator Helen Downie.

Looking to the future, the Chapel Committee and Multi-faith Chaplaincy hope to provide more of their own ongoing programming to showcase different ways of practicing spirituality, to increase awareness of the chapel among the Concordia community and to get students more involved in the space.

People gathered at the chapel on April 25 to celebrate its history and its bright future.
People gathered at the chapel on April 25 to celebrate its history and its bright future. | Photo by Eric Tschaeppeler

While the chapel continues to grow as a community space, members of the Chapel Committee maintain that all activities are rooted in the building’s history and evolution.

“I feel like it has a place for memories even if it’s not on all the walls or explicit,” says Downie. “For me the fête was a celebration of the past two years while being able to honour those who used the space and have taken care of the space before the university became involved. Though a lot of the events feel like they are new and groundbreaking over the past few years, there were a lot of similar types of events and intentions decades ago, and we’re trying to bring it full circle.”

What: Exhibition to celebrate the past, present and future of the Loyola Chapel
Where: AD hallway, Administration (AD) Building, Loyola Campus (7141 Sherbrooke Street W.)
When: Until December 30, 2012

Watch the slideshow:



Related links:

•  Multi-faith Chaplaincy
•  Loyola Chapel 
•  "Historic Loyola Chapel continues to evolve" — NOW, November 18, 2010 
•  Loyola Chapel - Quick History (Archives site) 

 



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