By Leah Zinsky
An interesting fact about being an alumni, student or employee of Sacred Heart University is that you can get married in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on campus.
“We want all students to know that all are welcome to get married in the chapel when the time comes,” said Father Michael Ramos, Sacred Heart’s Chaplain.
Traditionally, weddings are not held on campus in the winter. However, they are offered on Saturdays and Sundays between June 1 through August 1 annually.
Most weddings are held in summer for two reasons, the first being that the ceremony should take place when there is not a lot of campus activity, and the second being that there is increased parking availabilty during off-peak times on campus.
The chapel at Sacred Heart was designed by a Jesuit artist named Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, who is from Italy.
In total, a quarter-million pieces of glass and stone were used to construct the mosaic, and 1,200 square feet total is covered by the main sanctuary. It took Rupnik’s team only 14 days to assemble the mosaics in the Chapel.
While there are sentimental reasons to get married in the Chapel, some feel that it may not accomadate the big weddings they hope to have someday.
“I wouldn’t get married in the chapel because it’s not big enough. It’s pretty, but I don’t think that it will be large enough to fit all of the guests that I would want to invite,” said junior Maureen Keary.
There were seven weddings held in the chapel this past year. Some weddings are done by the ministry here at Sacred Heart, but most couples like to have their wedding officiated by a priest whom they personally know.
Weddings held in the chapel are the same as typical weddings that would be held in a traditional Catholic Church, and they usually can accomodate around 100 people.
One of the main reasons that those who have gotten married in the chapel have wanted to do so is because they have had good memories of being Sacred Heart students. Often in these scenarios, additionally, the couple first met on campus.
Although the idea of getting married in the chapel has not always been widely known, weddings in the chapel have been offered since it was dedicated in September of 2009.
So far, Father Ramos has received a lot of positive feedback from the friends and family that have previously attended wedding ceremonies at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.
“My favorite part about being a part of the weddings here is meeting with the couple ahead of time and seeing how they have grown, as well as their understanding of marriage,” says Father Ramos.
Couples meet with the ministry here at Sacred Heart about four times before the actual wedding ceremony happens.
“I personally am not Catholic so I couldn’t see myself getting married in a Church, but I do think that the architecture of the Chapel is beautiful,” said senior Leah Forbes.
A $1,000 chapel fee is required as well as a civil marriage license which must be obtained from the Town of Fairfield, and a signed wedding agreement.
“A wedding is a special moment for the couple and it is a privilege as a Priest to be a part of it,” said Father Ramos.
For more information about weddings in the chapel, contact Father Michael Ramos at 203-371-7707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.