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Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel

Chapel Renovation Fund

  • Building Hope | A Campaign to Rebuild

    The Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel has been a long-standing place of worship and gathering for the Gannon University family and community. Generations of students, alumni and friends have shared weekly mass and marriages, Baptisms and Mass of Remembrance...and have grown in faith, love and service to God and one another. This renovation and the campaign to support it makes it possible for future Gannon Family to do the same. 

    Located at 520 Peach St., the Chapel has undergone major renovations since May 2019:

    • drilling and capping of a gas well way below the Chapel floor
    • Kraus Fellowship Hall (in the space where the smaller Chapel existed)
    • a courtyard reflection garden -with recognition of Msgr. Richard Sullivan
    • parking lot
    • addition of pews
    • restoration of the Sacristy
    • renovation of the kitchen and bathrooms
    • state-of-the-art sound and digital equipment
    • improved entrance ways and storage
    • and more!  
    And yes, the beautiful 1993 stained-glass windows, created by artist John Vahanian and dedicated to Msgr. Addison Yehl by the Delta Sigma Phi Alumni, remain part of the Chapel!

    Gannon alumnus, Erie priest, and Board of Trustee member Monsignor Robert L. Brugger '62 gave a lead gift that encouraged alumni and friends to support this project. Together, giving totals $1.9 million. 

    Please consider donating to the last $100,000 for the repairs and renovations to this University landmark that will transform our student experience for years to come.

    Download a Pledge Card

    Make Your Gift

    Opportunities to support the chapel renovations for our second century are welcome in all denominations.

    Make Your Gift

    Investment Opportunities

    • Confessional ($20,000)
    • Sanctuary Crucifix ($12,500)
    • Monstrance and Platform ($5,000)
    • Paschal Candlestick 44" ($2,500)
    • Thurible and Stand ($2,500)
    • Pew - 7 Available ($2,020)
    • Fixed Floor Candlesticks - 7 available ($1,500)
    • Altar Crucifix 17" ($1,500)
    • Two Altar Candlesticks 10" ($1,500)
    • Altar Candlestick 20" - 2 available ($1,250)
    • Wall Sanctuary Lamp ($1,250)
    • Consecration Candle Holders - 5 available ($1,000)

    If you prefer to give by mail, download the pledge card.

    Giving Opportunities

    You can help us reach our goal. The gifts below were matched by a generous anonymous donor. For more information contact Almitra Clerkin ' 85, '17M, Associate Vice President of University Advancement.

    • Fellowship Hall ($125,000 matched to $250,000)
    • Courtyard Reflection Gard ($50,000 matched to $100,000)
    • Altar ($25,000 matched to $50,000)
    • Sacristy ($20,000 matched to $40,000)
    • Tabernacle ($12,500 matched to $25,000)
    • Baptismal Fonte ($10,000 matched to $20,000)
    • Mary Statue or St. Joseph Statue ($7,500 matched to $15,000)
    • Lectern or Voice Prayer Stand ($5,000 matched to $10,000)
    • Processional Cross ($2,500 matched to $5,000)
    • Station of the Cross - 14 available ($2,500 matched to $5,000)

    Chapel Rendering

    Leading the Way

    Renovations to Gannon University’s Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel are underway, thanks in large part to a lead gift by a longtime priest in the Catholic Diocese of Erie and trustee of the University. 

    Monsignor Robert L. Brugger ’62 was the pastor at St. Jude Catholic Church and St. George Catholic Church among other parishes. He privately presented his transformative gift to the University in December 2019. His generous gift will fuel a campaign to complete renovations to the chapel with a total projected cost of $2 million. 

    “I’ve been a part of Gannon for a long time,” he said, explaining his reason for the gift. “I was a student here. I’ve been a board member for many years. … and I’ve always been impressed with the students and leadership here.”

    “It was always at the top of my list to do something for Gannon if I had the chance,” he said. “The impact of this gift will transform the chapel and the Gannon experience for generations to come.”

    Chapel History

    A History

    As for the chapel, the beginnings of a Christian church on the site go back to 1860, when the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church dedicated a brick edifice with a towering steeple. That original building was partially destroyed by a fire in 1920 and not fully restored until 1940. A second fire in 1944 completely destroyed the building. 

    The present church was built in 1950. Its congregation merged with the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in January 1981 and is now the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant on West Sixth Street. Gannon University purchased the property that year with a view to continue the church as the University Chapel. The chapel was dedicated on Oct. 8, 1989. 

    After the re-imagined chapel is completed, new stories will unfold as a Dedication and Blessing Ceremony takes place in fall 2020. Please join us and be a part of this new chapter in the history of Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.