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Gannon University invites you and your family for the virtual Mass and Rite of Dedication of the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel...
…a long-standing place of prayer and worship that inspires our students,
alumni, colleagues and friends in their faith journey.
Virtual Chapel Dedication and Blessing Ceremony
Sunday, April 18, 2021 │ 1 PM - 2:30 PM (EDT)
Thank you for your prayers and support as we begin a new chapter
for our welcoming, loving and gracious Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.
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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 First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant on West Sixth Street in January 1981. Gannon 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 reimagined chapel is completed, new stories will unfold as a Dedication and Blessing Ceremony takes place in winter 2020. Please join us and be a part of this new chapter in the history of Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.
The Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel has been a long-standing place of worship and gathering for the Gannon University family and community. Located at 520 Peach St., the Chapel has been closed since May 2019, when a gas leak was discovered. The source of that leak was an abandoned gas well located below the chapel. That gas well has been re-drilled and capped, but only after a significant amount of work to the area around the chapel. Two buildings - the Student Services building and the Pontifical Center - were demolished to make way for drilling equipment. Both of those buildings had been identified in the school's 2009 master plan as needing to be taken down. A campaign was established in late summer 2019 to raise funds for the repairs and renovation to this University landmark.
Through the generous efforts of our donors, the new space will be completed for students in winter 2020. Renovations began, 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 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 the 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."