Motherhouse and Chapel
Motherhouse Points of Interest
This room was built to serve as an art gallery at the time the Motherhouse was constructed, as evidenced by the handsome wood second-floor gallery. True to its purpose, this room features paintings, furniture, pottery and other art pieces, many of which were gifts to the Community by family members of the Sisters, friends and clergy.
Clifford Bird Observatory
Located in the
St.Theresa Courtyard of the Mount St.Joseph Motherhouse, the Clifford Bird Observatory opened in the fall 2007. Named after Sister of Charity Adele Clifford, a former Collegeof Mount St. Joseph president, past biology department chair and avid bird watcher, the bird banding station allows the Sisters of Charity, and the Collegeof Mount St. Joseph, to educate the public, inventory natural areas and become part of the global effort involved in bird conservation.
Immaculate Conception Chapel
Built in the shape of a Latin cross, this magnificent four-story chapel is a blend of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture. Vaulted ceilings coalesce to form a central dome, which is enhanced with a mural painted by Richard Bachman. The central dome contains a monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament surrounded by four doctors of the Church who were devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. The sanctuary mural, depicting the Blessed Mother, was done by William Lambrecht.
The Community completed a substantial renovation of the chapel in 2000. A circular theme is carried out in a new octagonal altar which sits on a circular peninsula extending into the body of the chapel, a new baptismal font, and a semi-circular seating pattern using both new chairs and some of the original pews. The marble from the original altar was reconfigured and used in the baptismal font and in the base of the tabernacle.
Formerly called the Archbishop’s Room, this large parlor features six panels outlining the history of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. It also contains portraits and other art pieces associated with the heritage of the Community. As with other rooms and corridors in the Motherhouse, art by Sisters of Charity is featured.
Exhibits related to Sister of Charity history are displayed in this room. One of the popular exhibits portrays the life of the Sisters prior to the Second Vatican Council. It features sections on prayer life, formation, Sisters’ education, community life and creativity.
Rose Room and Adjoining Heritage Hallway
The Rose Room is a gathering space for retreats, meetings and social events. Along with the adjoining hallway, it offers examples of art and artifacts either done by or associated with the ministries of the Sisters of Charity.
1852 Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati established 1853 Mount St. Vincent Motherhouse established in Cincinnati 1857 Mount St. Vincent Motherhouse moved to Cedar Grove in Cincinnati 1869 Sisters purchased Biggs Farm in Delhi Township west of Cincinnati and moved novitiate there 1883 First Sisters buried in Mount St. Joseph cemetery 1884 Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse established 1885 Fire destroyed the Motherhouse 1886 Marian Hall opened as first building in new Motherhouse complex 1892 Construction on center and east wings, chapel, and St. Mary’s Hall began 1901 Immaculate Conception Chapel dedicated 1906 Mount St. Joseph Academy opened 1909 Sisters of Charity celebrate the centennial of their founding by Elizabeth Seton 1920 College of Mount St. Joseph opened 1927 Seton Hall completed 1930 Mount St. Joseph cemetery enlarged and landscaped 1937 St. Vincent’s Hall completed 1947 Mother Margaret Hall opened Mount St. Joseph Academy closed 1962 College of Mount St. Joseph moved to new campus 1975 Elizabeth Seton canonized 1979 Sisters of Charity celebrated the sesquicentennial of their arrival in Cincinnati 1984 Celebration of the centennial of Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse 1997 Mount St. Joseph cemetery enlarged and landscaped 2000 Renovation of Immaculate Conception Chapel completed 2002 150th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati