A Little Bit About the Santa Maria College Chapel
The College Chapel holds a special place in the hearts of Santa Maria College students, past and present. It is the heart of our college. As such, it is well worth sharing some of this beautiful building’s history.
The Chapel was designed by architect, Le Blond Henderson in the 30s. Due to the outbreak of WWII in 1939, construction was put on hold. In 1954, with no church in the Attadale Parish, it was decided to finish the College Chapel. The original Chapel was finally completed in 1955 and consecrated by Archbishop Prendiville in 1956.
Weddings have been held in the Santa Maria College Chapel since 1980, when permission was granted by the Sisters of Mercy.
The first wedding to take place was that of Kerry Hardie (1973) and Nikolei Bondarenko on 11 January 1980.
All the weddings celebrated at the College Chapel form a special part of the history of the school.
In 1969 The Chapel underwent some renovations:
- the new altar replaced the original altar and is still in place today,
- the removal of the pews that faced the congregation,
- additional new pews were added,
- installation of a new crucifix above the altar,
- the tabernacle relocated to the right of the altar,
- the outside porch was built and
- a new organ installed.
The statue of Our Lady and the statue of St Joseph were originally in the Chapel at Victoria Square and were donated to the College by Mother Brigid McDonald. The statue of Our Lady has stood on her altar in the vestibule since the opening of the Chapel.
The Chapel has been used continuously since 1955. It is a place for quiet contemplation, College Masses, and Liturgies. It took a pandemic to close the doors of the chapel in mid-March this year and reopened in mid-June for Rosary on Thursdays and Liturgy of the Word on Fridays, as priests were not allowed on the campus until Stage 3 restrictions were lifted.
Since the beginning of Term 3, we have been able to celebrate Mass every Friday again. No Masses have been able to be held for the boarding students on the weekends but it is hopeful that this will resume soon.
Weddings will again be celebrated from September 2020 and this wonderful tradition will continue.