SBM.11c02a Interior of Sacred Heart Chapel facing east (the convent entrance and choir loft)
SACRED HEART CHAPEL INTERIOR - SAINT BENEDICT'S MONASTERY, ST. JOSEPH, MN 1914-1983
The lovely gumwood pews in the east nave were on a wood floor which was bulit on an incline of 18 inches from the dome to the east entrance. The crossing transept under the dome was occupied by 144 choir stalls for members of the community (forefront)"
The entrance to the east was the main entrance of the chapel but it entered immediately into the convent corridor. There was no public main entrance. The choir loft railing was terra-cotta.
Organs have played an important role in the liturgical celebrations of the community and, in keeping with the tradition of the time, the organ was situated in a choir loft. Sister Imogene Blatz, in an article entitled, "A Century of Chapels and Organs" in COMMUNITY NEWS, February 1986 (p. 4) describes that history from 1914 to 1958:
"In January 1914, the Schaefer organ was moved (from the Scholastica Hall chapel) to the choir loft of the new Sacred Heart Chapel by representatives of the Schaefer Organ Company at a cost of $184.25. By 1951, this Schaefer organ, which was purchased in 1904, was in a state of deterioration and beyond repair. On January 6, 1951, the Chapter agreed to purchase a part of a direct electric Wicks organ for $8,600. Plans by some members of the community to place the organ in the north transept where the Pieta formerly stood did not materialize. With advice from the representatives of the Wicks Organ Company, the organ was placed in the choir loft. On August 2, 1958, as the chapel renovation was nearing completion, the Chapter voted to complete the Wicks organ with additional stops at a cost of $9,485 """ the organ had 1,257 pipes, 29 ranks, 3 manuals (keyboards) and full concave pedal board."" (Blatz, p. 4)
Vivarium; Saint Benedict's Monastery - St. Joseph, MN