The centre piece of our Archdiocesan Seminary St. Pius X College, is undoubtedly its chapel. By its very design it points the seeker to the ‘nexus mysteriorum’, a menagerie of art and mysticism woven together in glass, iron, marble, and Italian mosaic tile.
As a house of formation, the centre piece of the chapel is the beautiful representation of the last supper of Jesus. It is an intricate mosaic, detailing the expressions of the apostles and Jesus with the additional effect of the dimensions of the room and the folds of the table cloth. Written below in Latin is the phrase “Hoc facite in meam commemorationem” – “Do this in memory of me”.
Flanking the main mosaic is a set of stained glass windows of German manufacture. These stained glass windows, arranged along the semi-circular sanctuary, depict the Biblical events that pre-figure the Eucharistic sacrifice, and some which even imagine the future celebration of its. Two windows stand out in this collection: they are arranged immediately to the left and right of the mosaic. One honours the Mother of God the other St. Pius X, the patron of the seminary.
The main Altar is built in a beautiful interplay of different coloured marble. The altar itself is a monolithic white marble block, while the wall behind it is a tastefully chosen pinkish marble. Engraved on the frontal of the white marble block are the figures of the four evangelists whose centre is the paschal lamb with the flag of the resurrection. Signifying the word made flesh, and the sacrifice of the Lamb of God which take place on the altar.
The beautiful tabernacle, is a gold finished brass receptacle, which bears the figure of the lamb in gold. The Lamb is set upon a book with seven seals marked with different coloured stones, as also is the halo around the Lamb. Inside the tabernacle engraved in the metal surface is the figure of the divine Pelican. This is a reference to the divine Pelican, found in ancient Christian literature (Physiologus – 2nd century AD, Alexandria), as also in the works of numerous Patristic writers and in the hymn Adoro te devote of St. Thomas Aquinas.
The semi-circular sanctuary is further embellished with the symbols of the seven sacraments in cast iron, these offer a vista into the side altars. These altars were used for the celebration of the Eucharist prior to the Second Vatican Council, which enabled con-celebration by priests at the Eucharist. This takes away nothing of the beauty of the symbols that stand as a recapitulation of the Christian mystery and its celebration. There are nine such cast iron frames that punctuate the marble wall around the sanctuary, besides the seven sacraments we find a depiction of that recalls the mystery of Christian death and resurrection.
The nave of the Chapel is brought alive by the stained glass windows. This time the windows artistically cover the defining moments of the life of Christ as well as the moments when Jesus opens to us the mystery of salvation. In addition the artistic modern representation of the Stations of the Cross catch the eye of seekers who find themselves praying in the chapel. The marble skirting, door posts, and flooring are a reminder of the sacrifices of those who made the dream of this edifice of excellence a possibility.
The Chapel stands in a peculiar juxtaposed harmony, that of the intellect: the library the temple of the light (ratio) that guides the faith, and that of the mystery: the two tables at which we are fed the mystery of God. This juxtaposition brings to completion the arc of knowing, we approach the mystery in awe, on our knees and in love that keeps us wanting to know more.