The story of the little brownstone Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Seton Hall University should be a simple narrative. Unfortunately, records of the construction and later renovations of this beloved building have been lost over the decades. Reconstructing the story is made more difficult by some later accounts that are more speculative than factual. It was necessary to rely to a greater extent than usual on photographic evidence. Even here, it was necessary to carefully analyze photographs in yearbooks and journals. After study, it was clear that some photographs had been erroneously captioned. I have done my best to re-create the story of the Chapel from available evidence but hope that those who read this account will send any corrections or additions they may have.


Without the assistance and dedication of the Special Collections Department of the University Archives, especially Alan Delozier and Joann Cotz, this site would never have been constructed. Alan searched indefatigably and discovered long-neglected photographs and documents that, to my knowledge, have never before been published. Alan, with the assistance of seminarian Thomas Pendrick, unearthed yearbooks and programs with additional photographs, as well as accounts from the nineteenth century newspaper, The Newark Daily Advertiser. The staff of the Center for Academic Technology, especially Russell Francesco, assisted in the development of the site. Monsignor Francis Seymour, Archdiocesan Archivist, provided minute details regarding dates and personalities. Rev. Alfred Celiano, an accomplished musician, recalled from memory the details of the various electronic organs that have served the Chapel. Rev. John Morley gave essential details of the various renovations and repairs of the last three decades. Rev. James Cafone provided equally valuable information and detail. Rev. James Spera gave unhindered access to all areas of the Chapel. Rev. Eugene Cotter kindly translated the various Latin inscriptions. Dr. Peter Ahr was available for continual consultation, commentary and expert advice that included correcting occasional lapses in proper terminology. Matthew Borowick of University Affairs was a source of constant support for this project. Last, but far from least, Bill Blanchard, who has photographed hundreds of university events, is responsible for the magnificent contemporary photographs of the Chapel. My thanks also to many others whose interest, support and comments made this site possible.

This site was first developed in 2001 as a tribute to the chapel. It has been enhanced over the years and, most recently, augmented with a new section that recounts the multi-year work of its renewal. I am grateful to Vincent Nalupta and the staff of the Teaching and Learning Technology Center for their invaluable assistance in improving and enhancing this site.


Msgr. Robert J. Wister