Skip to main content


ASGM L082_GP49 Maison mère, Chapelle, cérémonie de profession perpétuelle, 1947.


The spiritual and architectural centrepiece of the Mother House, the Chapel of the Holy Cross hosted its first mass on December 1, 1878.

Residents who were otherwise separated by the building’s vast wings and floors came together within this impressive space. Services took place daily, and even those too frail or sick to pray in the pews could take part. Many infirmary rooms overlooked the chapel floor, allowing the bed-ridden to hear or see the ceremonies below. A closed-circuit television system was later installed to connect the entire building to its spiritual heart. 

When Concordia acquired the Mother House, the chapel was protected under Quebec heritage preservation laws, both as part of the wider Mother House complex, and in its own right. Religious symbols, stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and a strict no-noise policy maintain the space’s original, contemplative spirit. But in the Grey Nuns Reading Room, part of Concordia Library, today’s visitors sit at lamp-lit tables rather than pews, devoting themselves to enlightenment on all subjects. In the apse, where priests once orated, scholars now curl up in comfortable reading chairs. 

ASGM L082_7Y20C Maison mère, Chapelle extérieure, 1986.

Complete with private group-study rooms, this prestigious structure is popular among students and faculty alike. It stands out proudly among Concordia’s more contemporary facilities.

Listen to the organ's rich sound

The organ today enjoys use for special occasions. A concert was performed to open the 2009 international conference at Concordia called Religious Houses: A Legacy. In this spirit it remains an eye-catching treasure for the university community.

Johann Pachelbel's Aria Quarta, played by Maurice Lauzon

Back to top

© Concordia University