Our Lady of the Angels Motherhouse
Welcome to our Wheaton Franciscan Campus! Central to the campus is Our Lady of the Angels Motherhouse, which serves as the headquarters for the United States Region of the Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, more commonly known as the Wheaton Franciscans.
In addition to serving as the office for Regional leadership and staff, Our Lady of the Angels Motherhouse is home to some of our Sisters. It is the communal gathering place for Regional meetings, gatherings, and celebrations. Our Lady of the Angels includes Tau Center, a spirituality ministry of the Wheaton Franciscans, and the Wheaton Franciscan Library, a rich resource of books and magazines to inspire and inform.
Our Lady of the Angels Chapel
Our beautiful Chapel was originally built in 1954 and renovated in 1990 to meet current worship standards and the needs of the Wheaton Franciscan community. Three original treasures of the chapel were maintained and highlighted:
The stained-glass windows designed by Francis Deck of Emil Frei Studios in St. Louis, Missouri
The Stations of the Cross which portray Jesus Christ on the day of His crucifixion, set into the wall under the windows and framed with Botticino marble
The large cross, made of Nero Marquina and Bianco Carrara marble, suspended from the original altar
Our 60-acre campus is also home to Northwestern Medicine Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, the administrative offices for the IBVM (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Loretto Sisters, and Canticle Place, a 12-unit apartment complex providing affordable housing to persons living with AIDS.
Winding through the grounds is our paved Peace Path. The Peace Path will take you through several acres of beautiful prairieland enhanced with native Illinois grasses, small woodlands, a butterfly garden, and the Cosmic Walk featuring watercolor images of Significant Moments of the Unfolding of the Universe by Sr. Corlita Bonnarens, RSM. The newest addition to our campus is the St. Clare Garden, designed to provide a place of stillness and serenity for quiet conversation and journaling.
Enjoy a peaceful walk on our campus along a winding path through a beautiful prairie of native Illinois grasses and small woodlands.
Our peace path is a serene space for walking meditation, allowing for spiritual reflection and physical exercise. The mile-long path is paved and wheelchair accessible, with many intersections which enable you to circle through the prairie for shorter or longer exploration.
You will find many spaces to sit in prayer or contemplation along the path, including benches, seats carved from natural elements, or small grassy areas to spread out a blanket. You can enjoy sculptures, statues, and other points of reflection as you go. Stop at one of the Prayer Bells along the path, where you can pause and ring the bell. As the sound of the bell echoes, your prayers reverberate, and your intentions are felt for the world.
The Wheaton Franciscans created the Peace Path as a part of our healing ministry. Plantings of wide varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers add beauty, calm, and peace.
The Cosmic Walk
The Cosmic Walk is a walking meditation that offers a glimpse into our sacred origins by connecting the work of scientists with our ongoing spiritual search to understand better who we are and how we came to be. Sister Corlita Bonnarens, RSM, is the artist who captured in watercolor 25 significant moments in this unfolding story of the universe, giving us a glimpse of the Sacred Mystery that has been at work for more than 14 billion years.
St. Clare Garden – coming in 2023
The St. Clare Garden provides a place of stillness and serenity that compliments the Peace Path and the Cosmic Walk. The St. Clare Garden includes a large, shaded patio area for outdoor gatherings. Secluded seating areas provide space for journaling and quiet conversation in a tranquil natural setting, including a gently flowing water feature. Construction of the St. Clare Garden began fall of 2022 and will be completed in the fall of 2023.