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Chapels

Chapels

On both coasts, the students of Thomas Aquinas College are blessed to worship at reverent liturgies in beautiful buildings which reflect the rich heritage of their respective regions. The California and New England chapels both serve as the heart of their campuses, and both are named for Our Lady — our mother, our model, and our mediatrix.

These buildings are founts of grace for the students, faculty, staff, and friends of Thomas Aquinas College. Here, faith is nurtured. Here, conversions, baptisms, and confirmations take place; sins are forgiven; souls are nourished with Christ’s Precious Body and Blood. Here, young men and women discern their vocations and dedicate their lives to the service of Christ and His Church. Some hear the call to the religious life or the priesthood. Others answer the call to marriage, and some are united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

California

Arcade ViewAt the head of the academic quadrangle on Thomas Aquinas College’s California campus stands its most prominent and important structure, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. The fruit of a dozen years of planning, thousands of contributions from generous benefactors, and more than three years of construction, the Chapel was dedicated on March 7, 2009 — the anniversary of which is observed as a solemnity on the California campus.

Designed by University of Notre Dame architect Duncan Stroik, in collaboration with late Thomas Aquinas College president Thomas E. Dillon, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel is, like the College’s classical curriculum, drawn from the greatest sources of the Western tradition. The building’s dome is representative of the College’s fidelity to Rome; its bell tower evokes California’s Mission history. Together, they announce the essential role of the Catholic faith in the life of the College.

Interior of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel

Adorned with original statues, sacred artwork, and Biblical inscriptions, the Chapel is, as Dr. Dillon intended, a church that teaches. Through its every detail and its very design, which has garnered widespread acclaim, the building invites visitors to contemplate the greatest truths of the Faith.

The Chapel is named for Our Lady, our model in all human endeavors because of her unique relationship with the Persons of the Most Holy Trinity, the study of which is the culmination of students’ work at the College. 

New England

Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel

Constructed in 1909 on what was then the campus of the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies, Thomas Aquinas College’s New England chapel was designed by the Boston firm of Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge, architects of the original quadrangle at Stanford University, the Ames Building in Boston, and the Chicago Public Library. Built from Rockport granite, it is of the Gothic revival style in a variant known, fittingly, as Collegiate Gothic. Like its California counterpart, it is cruciform in shape, representing the Cross of Christ.

A gift of Margaret Olivia Sage, the Chapel was originally named for her late husband, Russell Sage, an American financier, railroad executive, and member of Congress. In 2019, just weeks before launching the campus’ inaugural year of classes, the College announced the building’s new name: Our Mother of Perpetual Help, in honor of Our Lady, who, through her intercession, has been a source of perpetual help to the College, particularly in the establishment of Thomas Aquinas College, New England.

Mosaic of Our Mother of Perpetual HelpWhile preserving the Chapel’s elegance and heritage, the College initiated a number of renovations to transform it for Catholic worship. Workers have installed a tabernacle, kneelers, and a central aisle for liturgical processions. Confessionals, a permanent altar and altar rail, and Stations of the Cross are forthcoming. And just above the Chapel’s main entryway, ensconced in the masonry, now appears the likeness of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: a mosaic replica of a centuries-old icon associated with countless miracles.

 

 

Br. Robert Nesbit

“It was at the College when I began to take my faith seriously. The community life, all the people, the faculty, the staff — and the Mass — all that really helped.”

– Br. Robert Nesbit, O.S.B. (’07)

“Thomas Aquinas College is a paragon of what Catholic higher education ought to be.”

– William Cardinal Baum

Prefect Emeritus

Congregation for Catholic Education