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Chapel flips on new light

February 3rd, 2011

A renewed brightness now shines on the Jesuit University in Cleveland with the addition of new lights in St. Francis Chapel.

Over winter break, John Carroll overhauled the lighting scheme in the chapel.

According to Gail Roussey, John Carroll’s coordinator of liturgy, the changes included the addition of spotlights, a new general lighting system for the chapel and a control system that allows the lights to be dimmed to different settings.

This will provide the chapel with more diversity for the different liturgical seasons. “[This] will be helpful during the times in Advent and Lent when we occasionally use taper candles as a way of emphasizing the solemn nature of the liturgy for that Sunday,” said Roussey.

Freshman Nick Sciarappa frequents the Chapel at night several times a week to reflect before going to bed. He appreciates the changes and feels that they provide a new atmosphere of spirituality to the chapel.

“It’s dark in the chapel except for the new lights on the tabernacle at night. The tabernacle can be seen from all corners of the dark church, kind of like God shines His grace on us through any darkness,” said Sciarappa.

In addition to the new moods that the lights provide, they have proven to be more practical for the music liturgy at weekly masses as well. Director of Liturgical Music and Musical Arts Cynthia Caporella is thrilled about the new lights. “I can see!” she said. “There is a spotlight on the organ, which is nice.”

Junior Sean Cahill is an active member of the chapel choir and is also very happy with the new lighting. He said that the lights are angled better which helps all of the musicians see their music. He also observed that it’s more consistent because the lights are in a row.

The new lights not only help the musicians, but will also save the University money. Roussey indicated that the lights will crease maintenance costs, because they will not have to be replaced as often. These will also decrease the cost of electricity.

The renovations did not change the weekly mass schedule, as daily masses were moved to Rodman Chapel in the Rodman Administration Building during the installation of the lights.

Roussey said, “In fact, this move was so successful that we have decided to try having the Wed. 12:05 p.m. Mass in Rodman Chapel for the rest of the semester.”

Throughout this process, Roussey said that Rev. Lorn Snow, S. J., the pastor of Gesu, and Br. Denis Weber, S. J. have been very supportive and welcoming to the John Carroll community. The Sunday mass schedule will return to its regularly scheduled times this Sunday with a 6 p.m. Mass and a 10 p.m. Mass.

“Campus Ministry appreciates the commitment of the University to maintaining the quality of our liturgical experiences.  Being a Jesuit, Catholic University we strive to provide a meaningful experience of worship for our community of students, faculty, staff and administrators.  Lighting and environment are one aspect of that experience,” said Roussey.