The ceiling has been resurfaced and decoratively painted to lift the mind and heart to heaven. It recalls the creation of the heavenly bodies in Genesis and the signs in the sky in Revelation. The same gold that is used in the ceiling's stars is found in the sanctuary apse. Thus, the light, symbolizing Christ, emanates from the sanctuary and fills the chapel.
The new baldacchino (or "ciborium") is built of more than four tons of quarter-sawn white oak. The upper structure is meant to recall Revelation 11, where the temple of God is seen in heaven. The temple, the place of encounter with God, is built above the altar of sacrifice, where we encounter God in the Eucharist.
Artist Will St. John painted "The Death of St. Joseph" on the front of the baldacchino. The image is incorporated here as a moment in which Jesus witnessed the glory of dying in God. Jesus, in his own death, imitates his earthly father Joseph. At the entrance to the chapel, this image, its inscription, and the Crucifix all fall in vertical alignment, linking these aspects together.
The altar of sacrifice was constructed of sedimentary stone to remind us that all of creation is part of praising God. The columns on the sides invoke the image of a table to remind us that we are fed from the altar, the table of the Lord. The front contains a mosaic of the sacrificial lamb. Relics of St. Benignus, Vincent of Saragossa, St. John Vianney, and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne are contained within the altar.
Statues of Mary and Joseph flank the sanctuary. Mary is depicted as she appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, giving her the Miraculous Medal and holding the world in her hands. Statues of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests, and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, co-patroness of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, can be found in the back of the chapel.
The stained glass windows are original to the chapel (1931). They were designed by the Emil Frei Glass Co., a St. Louis company that is still operating today. The central image in each window depicts the story of redemption. The upper circles represent the lives of the saints. The lower circles represent the history of the Catholic Church in the St. Louis area.
Morning Light enters the chapel.
Beams of light play with our vision of this beautiful and prayerful space. Where there is light, there are shadows.