Faith & Service
Our Lady of Light Chapel
When the chapel here at Central Catholic was first constructed in 1966, it was given the name St. Rita’s, which was the patron saint associated with the Augustinian Order that founded the school. When that order left, and Father Morse arrived, he decided to change the name to Our Lady of Light, the name which we still call it today. The reason for this name change was simple. Mary is honored by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, to which Father Morse belongs, and it felt quite important to ‘bring light’ to students, especially those struggling with learning disabilities.

The look inside the chapel has changed over time (and it might be surprising to learn what that all entailed!) Originally, the wooden pews that were to be used were moved to a Gallo warehouse and in their place were orange chairs, bean bags, and even an orange carpet. (It was the late 60’s and early 70’s, and that look tended to be the style of the era). However, when Father Morse arrived, he decided to go back to the traditional look of a chapel, adding back in the wooden pews and changing the carpet to what is seen today. 
Other items, such as the altar at the front, were moved out just like the pews, but then put back. The altar we currently have was originally from St. Bernard’s Church in Tracy, then it moved to a parish in Stockton, and then came to us here at Central Catholic. The statues that can be seen within the chapel are of St. Joseph and Mary. They were kindly donated to the school by the Gallo family. To give St. Joseph a bit of a boost to stand higher, there were different footstools made. 

The stained glass windows are some of the most beautiful aspects of Our Lady of Light chapel. Originally, these were orange windows, but through a special creative vision between Mr. Jim Pecchenino and Brother James, an Oblate of the Virgin Mary, new glass windows were designed and created. Each of the windows you see now were graciously funded by donors.
As you can see, if you take a tour of our campus grounds, the landscaping of our school is quite charming and brings a peacefulness to each and every little alcove here. The same can also be said for the landscaping around the Our Lady of Light chapel.

In the beginning, the only landscaping at the front of the chapel was mostly shrubs. Brother Paul, from the Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, another wonderful contributor to our school, was on the grounds team. And, after Mr. Jim Pecchenino was able to secure funding, our landscaping blossomed into what you see here today. In 2000, the entry to Our Lady of Light chapel (from the school direction) was updated. This was kindly donated to us by the Mark Gallo Memorial Fund. In addition, our lovely statue out in the front of the chapel was purchased by Father Morse’s mother, Ruth, in memory of her husband Vernon.
Through the devotion and hard work of many people, the Our Lady of Light Chapel and its surrounding grounds have been lovingly cared for since the beginning in 1966. WE continue today to appreciate what has been created here and look towards the future for what joy this amazing little chapel can bring us all in the years to come.

Many thanks for the history of the chapel:
* Father Morse
* Mr. Jim Pecchenino 

About Central Catholic

Faithful to our Catholic Tradition, our mission is to witness to the Gospel while building an educational community that inspires the spiritual, academic and social development of young adults.

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