Newly Dedicated Chapel of the Holy Cross, Jesuit High School of Tampa

This past August 7th, Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J. dedicated the new Chapel of the Holy Cross at the Jesuit High School of Tampa Bay. The chapel seats 950 and is the design of Duncan G. Stroik Architect. The stained glass was executed by Conrad Schmitt Studios, the paintings are by Raul Berzosa and the sculptures and Stations of the Cross are by Cody Swanson.

The president of the school, Fr. Richard Hermes, S.J., offered the following commentary on the art of the new chapel:
The new chapel, named in honor of the Holy Cross, draws from the spirit that animated the origin of the Society of Jesus. In the Formula of the Institute, the founding document of the Jesuit Order (1540), St. Ignatius refers to those wishing to be members of this new Order as soldiers of God "under the banner of the cross" (sub crucis vexillo), serving the Lord alone and the Church, his spouse, under the Roman Pontiff. Thus, St. Ignatius puts the whole Jesuit mission under the standard of the cross. These words from the Formula can be seen inscribed on the statue of St. Ignatius that adorns the fa├žade of Holy Cross Chapel. In addition, the central interior image that confronts the visitor to our new chapel, the painting placed above the high altar, is the famous image of St. Ignatius's vision at La Storta. In this vision, St. Ignatius is placed by God the Father beneath Christ who carries the cross. From that moment, St. Ignatius knows that he and his companions will be linked intimately in name and mission with the Lord Jesus and His holy cross.

Jesuit's new student chapel has found an architect in Duncan Stroik who is supremely fluent in this idiom of Catholic faith, tradition, and the liturgical worship of God. For nearly thirty years, Professor Stroik has taught architecture at the University of Notre Dame. He has been a national leader in the recovery of the classical Catholic tradition in ecclesiastical architecture. His masterful design of Holy Cross Chapel, a sacred edifice that evokes the tradition of the Italian Renaissance, will serve, inspire, and instruct thousands of Jesuit Tigers in the coming generations.

The simple brick exterior, with its Palladian Doric portico and four "thermal" windows, references the simplicity of early Christian and Renaissance Churches in Venice and Rome. The octagonal interior echoes the polygonal shape of St. Anthony's and connects the new chapel with the tradition of pilgrim Churches and baptisteries, including the shrine at Loyola dedicated to St. Ignatius. The American classical tradition, with its emphasis on stained glass interiors, also finds an heir in the new chapel. The many symbols, inscriptions, altars, and artwork reflect the great contribution of the Jesuit order to the history of sacred art. They remind us of the pedagogical function of ecclesiastical architecture, a function that complements and enhances the primary function of divine worship.

The pedagogical instruction that the Chapel of the Holy Cross imparts to all who worship here is that God's love for mankind is ultimately cruciform. We, in turn, render him proper gratitude by the beauty of our own worship, most especially the spiritual worship of conforming our lives to the sacrificial love of Christ's cross. Our prayer is that many future generations of Jesuit students may be formed as disciples of Jesus Christ and his holy cross by their daily prayer in this house of God that we dedicate today.
Let's begin with some images of the chapel itself.

(Photo: Nathan Doerr)
There are any number of elements here that will be pleasing to readers of LAJ, from the hanging canopy over the high altar, the ample predella, the altar rail, the solid marble altar, the beautiful reredos structure behind the altar of reservation and the central tabernacle.  Here is a slightly closer look:

(Photo: Nathan Doerr)
(Photo: Nathan Doerr)
These were taken in the evening after the dedication -- and in lower lighting.  These next images provides a better sense of the chapel when fully illuminated and in daylight.

(Photo: Jesuit High School of Tampa)
Detail from the high altar, prior to its consecration.
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)

Side Altars

Detail from side altar of St. Isaac Jogues
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)
Detail from side altar of St. Edmund Campion; the altar is being dressed.
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)
Detail from side altar of St. Paul Miki
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)
Detail from side altar of Bl. Miguel Pro
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)
These next two views will give you a better sense of the overall configuration of these side altars:

(Photo: Nathan Doerr)
Prior to the dedication of the Church.
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)

Other Details

Tabernacle prior to dedication
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)
Tetragrammaton at the top of the dome of the lantern
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)

The Dedication of the Church

Bishop Michael Barber, S.J.  You will note that he is wearing the pontifical dalmatic.
(Photo: Jesuit High School of Tampa)
Incense burnt upon the altar as part of the consecration of the altar
(Photo: Duncan G. Stroik Architect)
The procession into the chapel showing the choir loft and narthex.
(Photo: Jesuit High School of Tampa)
Consecration at the Mass
(Photo: Jesuit High School of Tampa)
An inspiring new chapel to say the least, and certainly one that is heavily connected to the tradition.
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