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Art and Architecture of Chapel Topic of November First Friday

October 18, 2017

Fr. Kevin Mannara, C.S.B., director of Campus Ministry at St. John Fisher College, along with several artisans, will discuss the art and architecture of the newly opened Hermance Family Chapel of St. Basil the Great.

The interior of the Hermance Family Chapel of St. Basil the Great.

The event, which is a part of the First Friday Lecture Series, begins with Mass and breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by the discussion at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, in the Chapel.

From the steeple that mirrors the one atop Kearney Hall to the welcoming statue of St. Basil the Great on the plaza, the Chapel boasts several architectural features, mosaics, and icons selected for their intentional, special meaning.

The marble mensa of the altar and the top of the ambo were both donated by Fr. Mannara’s childhood parish, Most Precious Blood Church and local artisan John Dodd used sapele wood from Africa to craft the base of the altar, ambo, and presider’s chair.

The crucifix, which depicts the “Gaze of Mercy” honors the moment when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). The INRI sign, along with the lighter color ends of the cross, are made from the wood of an oak tree that stood where the Chapel was constructed.

Later this fall, stained glass windows, crafted by artisan Valerie O’Hara, will be installed, and iconographer Minh Huynh is painting an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a project initiated by Fisher’s Latino Student Union.

The First Friday Lecture Series, sponsored by the 1948 Society, is designed for individuals who are interested in hearing learned perspectives on a variety of topics from members of the St. John Fisher College and greater Rochester community. Parking is available in Lot A, Lot K, or Lot S (shuttle service will be provided to and from the Chapel).

Register online for the lecture, or for more information, call Libby Pinti at (585) 385-7350 or email