Faith and tradition shape the atmosphere at Regis. The school was founded on the principle of serving our dear neighbor. The culture of Regis is represented in the history of the Chapel, the Sisters of St. Joseph, and the Campus ministry department.
I had the privilege to speak with Father Paul Kilroy to learn more about the history and culture of the Chapel for an assignment for one of my classes. The Sisters of St. Joseph made their way to Boston from France. Father Kilroy quoted the Sisters of St. Joseph as the “pioneer women” of 1927. They set the tone for women at the time. During the 1920s, women did not have as many opportunities to go to college as men. In the Boston area, there were various colleges, but most of them were for men only. The Sisters of St. Joseph founded Regis which was one of the first colleges to offer education to women. They built a community that has continued to thrive in recent decades.
Regis opened its doors to men in 2007. The school was no longer one of the few all-girl schools left in the country. Regis became more diverse and various cultures began to show up on campus.
The peace room located in St. Joseph's Hall was the previous Chapel. This Chapel was where the convent was located. The students needed a place to worship on their own. There was then a Chapel built for the students in College Hall where Mass is held every Sunday currently. St. Joseph's Hall is now where the peace room, the Campus Ministry Office, and the Grad student residence hall are located today.
There are five quilts located in the Chapel that display the culture of Regis. The colors and intricate patterns grab the attention of anyone who walks through the doors. These quilts were originally made by Roberta "Bobbie" Cormier Sullivan, a Regis Alumni, from the Class of 1973 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Regis.
The Chapel has transformed miraculously over the years that Father Kilroy has worked on campus. Father Kilroy came to Regis with only one sacred space, the Chapel. Within the last ten years, several sacred spaces have been added to campus. These sacred spaces include the Grotto, the Chapel, the Peace Pole, and the Peace Room.
The community at Regis surprised Father Kilroy at first. There were more religions on campus than he expected. Regis was founded on Catholic values, but less than 50% of the population on campus is Catholic. Over 90% of the community is Christian. Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and other religions are also represented on campus. Father Kilroy was approached by a Hindu student because he wanted a place to pray besides the Chapel. This was because the Catholic images and statues distracted him from his prayers. This inspired Father Kilroy to build the peace room for other religions on campus to worship comfortably.
Campus Ministry sponsors a Mass every Sunday. You do not have to be Catholic to attend since everyone is welcome. It is a safe space and it is not your typical Catholic Mass. The Regis Community comes together to be there for one another in times of struggle. The songs are fun to sing along with and everyone is an active participant in Mass. There is always food after each Mass. Everyone is welcomed!
There is always someone on Campus willing to talk to you and help you work through anything. The Sisters of St. Joseph inspired a community that encourages individuals to make a difference in the world by serving our dear neighbors. The Chapel is a safe place. It is where you can connect with God and gain a better sense of your faith. The Chapel is peaceful, warm, and you will never be alone. Campus Ministry always has their door open to welcome you. Regis was created based on the principles of faith and tradition and continues to uphold these principles for the sake of serving our dear neighbors for future generations.