The existing chapel was a classic example of a pre-Vatican II worship space. It contained a high altar platform and a deeply sloped nave with four rows of seating set in a typical parallel processional plan. In addition most of the materials were masculine rough stone or neutral dark colors. The attempt to feminize the setting with turquoise pews was not appropriate either.
So as to respect an all-feminine client the design approach was to only use wood and/or curves. A complete update for post Vatican II Liturgy included leveling the floor, setting the altar, ambo and chair in the midst of the assembly, and creating appropriate prayerful spaces for meditative prayer. The original high altar area was transformed into a Eucharistic Reservation Chapel, the original nave was converted to be the worship space, a dark closed narthex was opened up vertically and horizontally to create a welcoming experience, a Reconciliation Chapel was created with floor to ceiling etched glass panels to have a connection of penitent to the community, and an antiphonal seating arrangement maximized Sisters connection to each other at Eucharist and provided a place of honor in the midst of the assembly.Project Team:
Architect & Designer: Robert Habiger
Liturgical Design Consultants: Robert Habiger and Lynn Ellen Doxon
Acoustical Consultant: MuSonics
Contractor: Bob Simpson, Simpson & Associates, Wichita, KS
Artists: Claire Wing (stained glass and etched glass panels); Byron Wickstrom (tabernacle, processional cross and eternal lamp); Joe Barris (stations of the cross); Marty Raterman (liturgical furniture)