Copley Crypt Chapel opened to students on Monday, Nov. 18 after over a year of closure for renovations. The chapel located directly above it, St. William, also opened.
Since Sept. 2018, renovation work has taken place externally and internally on both Copley Crypt and St. William chapels. According to a university spokesperson, external work addressed roofing, windows, stained glass, mobility ramps, and landscaping. Internal work included flooring, fire safety, electrical and security improvements.
Dr. Jim Wickman, Director of Catholic Life, hopes students will find the renovated space appealing. “My hope is that Copley Crypt Chapel will be a place on campus where any and all students find a home,” he said. “It is a beautiful and simple space, where one can enter, sit— even if just for a few minutes – and feel the quiet and peace.”
Fully titled Copley Crypt Chapel for the North American Martyrs, the space has historically been a location for the wakes of many Jesuits prior to burials in the neighboring Jesuit Cemetery. For over 50 years, Orthodox Christian liturgical services have been taking place in the space. The chapel is home to myriad services in different faith traditions, including these Orthodox Christian services and Catholic ones.
Wickman envisions the space being utilized by all faith communities at Georgetown. “My further hope is that the renovated space will enhance those traditions and strengthen the faith and prayerfulness of those who attend these services,” Wickman said. “As with all services in Campus Ministry’s various faith traditions, all students are welcome to attend, so my final hope is that by experiencing the renewed Copley Crypt Chapel, students will feel that they belong.”
Formal events for opening and blessing of the chapels will be held in January after winter break.