Chapel of St. Mary: Our Lady of the Ledge

The name of the Chapel for St. Mary’s Springs Academy is The Chapel of St. Mary, Our Lady of the Ledge. Mary of the Immaculate Conception is our Patroness. The entire campus sits atop a major geological feature that runs from New York State, around the Great Lakes and ending in Fond du Lac. Standing on that same bluff near a multitude of natural artesian springs, the chapel, with its impressive tower, looks towards the city of Fond du Lac and Lake Winnebago below. The Escarpment is most famous for forming the bluffs which the world famous Niagara Fall sacades over. The tower of our school rises high above the treetops giving witness below to the value and strength of Catholic Education we embrace.

 

In the back of the chapel is a mural and statues depicting the image of St. Mary, Our Lady of the Ledge seated on Niagara Dolomite Stone (aka Fond du Lac Limestone) near a spring of running water in quiet prayer and intercession for all of her children, the students of St. Mary’s Springs, who are at her sides and feet. Within the mural behind this image the beauty of the natural surroundings would be captured leading to the blessing font with imagery of the nearby springs done in glass mosaic. This is an earthly depiction of Mary as mother and disciple. Our mother in our school

 

Surround the nave are the images of the saints, example of those whose lives of serice has crowned them in the love of Christ. These beautiful Munich style windows from the former St. Joseph Church find new purpose in our chapel for generations to come.

 

  1. St. Mary the Immaculate Conception
  2. St. James the Apostle
  3. St. Patrick
  4. St. Aloysius
  5. St. Thomas the Apostle
  6. St. John the Evangelist

 

On the soffit above the windows leading toward the altar on the left returning on the right is painted the scriptural passage; “I rejoiced greatly to how you walk in the truth. Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are walking the truth.” 3 John 1:3-4

 

The altar stands preeminently in the space, solid and noble and crafted of Fond du Lac limestone and local natural hardwoods. The sanctuary is set apart from the nave with Fond du Lac limestone tile on the floor. Suspended above the altar is the most beautiful of all natural images, the tree of life, the crucifix (from Old Main Hall Chapel). The four square design of the cross will be reflected in the foursquare design of the altar, ambo, and tabernacle stand.

 

The ambo will be created in complementary design to the altar as a cradle for the proclamation of the Word of God. A movable step in the base assists younger readers at an appropriate reading height.

 

The reservation of the Blessed Sacrament is central in the alcove behind the altar. This alcove has three windows of wheat and grapes, Eucharistic symbols. The original tabernacle, once housed in the Old Main Hall Chapel, has been refinished an reused. The alcove is painted a deep shade of blue, recalling the heavens and the “Bread of Angels” reserved here. All of these elements connect us to the rich history of our school’s heritage.

 

The main window in the space depicts the dove of the Holy Spirit flying forth from a flash of light to reside on each on every student and person who enters the chapel. It is flanked by the stars of Mary and the crescent moon.

 

The chapel also has a separate confessional with a screen and kneeler for offered confessions. An icon was written by a local artist that is also displayed on the wall immediately upon entering the chapel from the North end.

 

It was our great blessing that on December 8, 2017, SMSA celebrated their first ever Patronal Feast Day Celebration! We established a new focus on our Mother like we have not seen before and completed our festivities by consecrating the entire school and its mission to Mary’s protection!

 

Finally, the holy water reservoir is blessed water from none other than the springs that flow directly behind the school and through much of our landscaping. Our holy water is truly St. Mary’s Springs holy water.