It was 1958 and, shortly after the Bissell residence was purchased by the Sisters of the Cross and Passion for the purpose of extending their retreat ministry from Rhode Island to Connecticut, St. Paul of the Cross Chapel, a sacristy and bedroom were added to the original building. As you look around the sanctuary you see sepia windows reflecting some of the Passionist Saints and, in the body of the Chapel, windows depicting the Seven Sorrows of Mary. From the beginning the Chapel has been a place of prayer.
The Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle; Mass is celebrated there; Morning, Evening and Night Prayer have been prayed; retreatants enter the space to find solitude and peace within.
In 2008, as the Fiftieth Anniversary of retreat ministry at the center approached, renovations occurred. The outside was brought in with the building of a stone wall upon which the crucifix is affixed. During the cleaning of the corpus it was discovered that a brand on the wood revealed who the carver from a town in Italy was, and that he had carved the figure over 100 years ago.
Walls and wood were repainted and the ceiling and lighting updated. All of this adding to the spirit of serenity and presence experienced by those who enter into the chapel space. Stations of the Cross can be found on the walls of the chapel. From the beginning, statues of St. Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionist Community; Mary and St. Joseph have been part of the décor of the chapel. All were refurbished at the time of renovations. The Chapel at Our Lady of Calvary has been welcoming to people of many faiths. In the present it continues to be a beautiful space of prayer and reflection.
OUR LADY OF CALVARY RETREAT CENTER