In July 2017, construction began on the Chapel of St. Joseph at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
For several years, especially during inclement and cold months, the Shrine had been using the former (north) gym of Maryville Academy for the celebration of Mass and other special events. The gym was the largest indoor space available on our grounds to accommodate the over 6,000 visitors who come to the shrine each week. The rest of the year, weather permitting, all Masses and major celebrations take place outdoors in the plaza.
It is no surprise, therefore, that the shrine was in need of an enclosed sacred space for the proper celebration of the sacraments and special events, and a place to welcome pilgrims and visitors year-round.
The gym building, which was donated to the shrine and has become a special part of its history, offered the perfect opportunity for the shrine to build its first chapel.
In order to remain within a feasible project budget and timeline, the design for the chapel is making use of the structural and architectural foundations of the existing building. The interior will follow a traditional church plan with a central aisle that leads to the sanctuary. Wood and steel will highlight the finishes and furnishings of the chapel, recalling the humility and workmanship of St. Josephs’ workshop.
Since July 2017, the architectural and construction teams have made significant advancements with the project. To date, the work completed or in progress includes:
- Demolition, excavation, and foundations
- Masonry repairs and infills
- Floor preparation
- Plumbing and drainage
- Electrical and HVAC
- Steel erection (new main entrance)
- Sprinklers installed
- Roof and gutters repaired
- Skylight curb installed
- Audio/Video infrastructure planning
- Devotional framing
- Structural steel framing at vestibule
- Altar platform framing
- Drywall installation
We have also contacted several sacred art studios for the chapel furnishings, seating, and artwork, and are now currently awaiting their initial design proposals and budgets. Our goal is to add beauty and sacredness to the chapel with custom liturgical and devotional artwork representative of the Catholic artistic heritage of our Latin American community.
Please stay tuned as each month we continue to share updates on the construction and development of the chapel. For more information and to make your pledge/donation visit: www.solg.org/en/pledge-lady-guadalupe/
Additional photos from the construction site (September – October 2017):