Faith is the basis for all we do at the University of Saint Francis, from nurturing the spiritual growth of our students to serving the larger community’s needs with Mass through enhanced technology. From offering our new St. Francis Chapel as a beacon to everyone for worship or quiet reflection—to developing future leaders through Catholic social teaching and Franciscan values. Each day, in all our endeavors, faith defines us.
St. Francis Chapel
At the center of campus and overlooking Mirror Lake, the new St. Francis Chapel will be a visible and tangible expression of the university’s faith in God, and identity rooted deeply in the Catholic and Franciscan tradition. As an engaging place of worship located in the heart of campus, students will encounter Christ each day as they learn to lead and serve one another, their community and our world.
Situated among the university’s academic buildings, the new chapel will enhance the USF community’s access to daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration, as well as group and personal prayer. Iconic and inviting, the chapel will prompt our students, faculty and staff to find God in everything we see and do.
In service to our community and family of faith, the chapel will continue to host the Diocese’s weekly televised Mass with updated technology. The chapel will also serve as the critical foundation for our vibrant Campus Ministry offerings.
Cultivating the faith of our students is crucial to the University of Saint Francis’ Catholic, Franciscan mission, identity, and ethos. As such, Campus Ministry staff and peer ministers have built significant relationships with students and renewed Campus Ministry offerings to serve today’s students better, which has resulted in markedly increased participation. Indeed, students participating in Sunday evening
Masses regularly fill the current chapel to capacity compelling many to stand. Large student groups and athletic teams wishing to pray together are often too numerous for our small space. A larger chapel will allow more students, friends, faculty and staff to attend Mass throughout all days of the week. Besides allowing for more students, employees, alumni, and friends to participate in daily and Sunday Masses, moving from a 100-seat space within Trinity Hall to a 250-seat stand-alone chapel opens many new possibilities for USF to cultivate the faith of our students even more.
As we begin the early stages of construction, we also eagerly look ahead to the potential impact of building and dedicating this new, sacred space on campus. As our Campus Ministry continues to cultivate the faith of USF students more effectively, we are witnessing a strengthening of Christian community. USF also continues to celebrate and support several recent students and graduates who have entered the seminary or are pursuing religious life.
The chapel’s presence elevates our Catholic identity, and strengthens our ability to invite many non-Catholics to experience our faith as well. The University of Saint Francis offers a fundamentally different experience to students than public or secular universities. Our focus on developing the whole person calls us to use Catholic social teaching and our Franciscan values to understand and engage the world more profoundly. This personal development prepares students for fulfilling vocations and develops talent that will enable them to serve the community for years to come– strengthening the heart of our university.