COLLEGEVILLE - This week for our frozen in time series we went across Lake Sagatagan at Saint John’s University to visit the Stella Maris Chapel.

The chapel has had a presence in the area for well over 100 years. Saint John's Prep Principal Matt Reichert says the chapel holds both local and religious history.

"Its name is Stella Maris which is an old Latin title from the ninth century for Mary the mother of Jesus, so there's a church and local history in terms of the pioneers who first came here," Reichert says.

The chapel was first built in 1872 and was destroyed by a fire in 1903. The chapel was rebuilt at the same site by monks in 1915. Saint John's Archivist Peggy Roske says the chapel has since become a popular hiking destination for students and visitors.

"In the intervening years it's become more of a destination for people out on a nice walk-it's a great part of the Saint John's Arboretum," Roske says.

Recently in 2007, as part of the 150th anniversary of Saint John’s, the chapel received several renovations. Don Hall, who was a 1955 graduate of Saint John's Prep financed the project, which included the interior being plastered, new stain glass windows and a new Mexican tile.

"Hall and his family stepped forward because they wanted to preserve the chapel and all that it meant to them and so many people that visit it," Reichert says.

The chapel is about a 20 minute walk from the Saint John’s Prep school. Numerous people visit it daily and sign the logbook inside.


Dan DeBaun, WJON News