Chapel History

In 1910, the Rector of St. Francis Solanus College commissioned Brother Anselm Wolff, OFM, to design and build a chapel. Brother Wolff was known for his design of the magnificent St. Anthony of Padua Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and the St. Francis Solanus Chapel bears a striking resemblance.

Originally constructed in the Romanesque style with three naves, transept clerestory, and arches complemented by early twentieth century religious art, a 1955 renovation, under the direction of Fr. Tom Brown, OFM, altered the chapel interior to reflect the Byzantine style.

The stained glass windows are among the most notable features of the chapel, both in craftsmanship and symbolism. The windows were created by the Emil Frei Art Glass Company of St. Louis and the glass was imported from Munich, Germany. The windows are of the "Munich Pictorial Style," popular between1898 to 1940, and are characterized by lifelike images of saints and figures with landscape backgrounds, set in boarders of an echo of the marble columns often found in the Reredos of sanctuaries.

The chapel has served not only as a place of worship and an example of artistic and architectural excellence, but as a musical center for the university. The chapel includes a spacious choir and organ loft which houses a two-manual, seven-rank Wicks pipe organ built in 1950, the organ has accompanied countless concert performances and worship ceremonies.

To read more about the chapel history, click here.