Brophy Chapel


All are invited to Brophy’s Chapel Mass every Sunday at 10 a.m.
The last Mass of the season will be Sunday, May 18th. Regular Sunday Mass will resume mid-August.

The Jesuits welcome you to Brophy Chapel

Photographed from left to right are Chris Calderon, S.J.; Marc Valadao, S.J.; Elias Puentes, S.J.; President Father Edward A. Reese, S.J.; Father Harry T. Olivier, S.J., Daniel Nevares, n.S.J.; Father Phil Postell, S.J. and Father Lou Bishop, S.J. (Michael Ging Photography)

To book the Brophy Chapel for funerals, baptisms or weddings you must be a Brophy Alum or Xavier Alum. For more information contact Susan DeLozier at 602-264-5291 ext.6422 or email at: .


Chapel History

Built in 1928, the chapel was designed for the students of Brophy College Preparatory. Along with the classroom building and faculty residence, the Chapel was donated by Mrs. William Henry Brophy in memory of her husband. The contractor was the A.F. Wasielewski Company of Phoenix; the architect was Mr. John R. Kibbey of Los Angeles.

At the main entrance…
At the main entrance, the large wooden doors hint at the Spanish influence that is felt throughout the chapel. Having spent a year in Spain and several years in Mexico, Mr. Kibbey had a genuine feeling for the heritage of the Catholic Hispanic Southwest. The interior of this church combines much of the Catholic spirit of Andalusia in southern Spain and the 18th century church architecture found in different parts of Mexico. The Spanish Colonial architecture is more restrained than the flamboyant baroque of the numerous period churches of Mexico, but is more sophisticated than that of the mission churches of southern Arizona, New Mexico and California.

Upon entering the Chapel, one’s first impression after leaving the brightness of the Arizona sunlight is similar to that of entering the dim cathedral atmosphere of a European church. The filtered light of the heavily stained glass windows tones down the brilliantly painted ceiling of Spanish design, the Moorish influence seen in so much of the Catholic church architecture of Spain.

The first point of interest is the pinkish tufa stone altar, designed in the style of Mexican baroque. Cut from a quarry near Wickenburg, this Arizona volcanic stone was carved by local sculptors. Effectively framed above the altar is a painting of the Holy Family. This is the work of a fine, though unknown artist of the Italian school of Andrea Del Sarto in the fifteenth century. The central statue of the Sacred Heart is flanked by those of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and his companion, St. Francis Xavier, patron of the Brophy school. The wood carved legs of the movable altar are the recent works of Taiwanese craftsmen, in duplication of the original ornate pedestals over the doors entering the sacristies.

The large impressive crucifix on the right is an outstanding specimen of art by a wood carver of Rome. The sacristy to the left of the altar features an article of historic interest, a large wooden crucifix carved about 1670. It came from the Monk’s Cemetery at Evaux near Montfaucon in France, and was a survivor of the World War I battle of Verdun.

The abundant use of sea shells in the chapel – carved into the main altar and decorating the wall lights under the windows – is very common in Spanish colonial architecture. The tradition has its origin in the shells of St. James (Santiago de Compostela).

The heavy and intricately wrought iron chandeliers are of pure Spanish design but the handiwork of a local blacksmith shop. Transverse structural I-beams, encased in wood, carry the weight of the ceiling; the length-wise beams are of solid pine. Small sections of the latter, recently found in the attic, provide an entrance to the Baptistry at the rear of the chapel.

A small section of the original communion rail, removed after Vatican Council 11, stands at a side altar, dedicated to St. Ignatius.

The painting on the wall of the Baptistry, depicting the history and growth of Phoenix, was the work of Michael Tang, a Brophy student who became a member of the Jesuit Order. The coat of arms of the Society of Jesus over the southeast exit from the chapel, and the seal of the Society of Jesus over the back exit are a rather recent work of craftsman in Taiwan. The statue of St. Francis Xavier in the vestibule was the work of a wood carver in Rome.

The structure of the chapel is made of brick and cement mixed on site. Its tower, 135 high, is perfectly proportioned, a desert land mark through the 30′s. The fountain in the front patio was built and donated by the A. F. Wasielewski Company in memory of their founder. The original cast-iron statue of St. Francis Xavier over the fountain, was destroyed in a wind storm. The present cast-stone statue of the Sacred Heart was installed in 1966.

The laying of the cornerstone on April 29, 1928, brought together in Phoenix “probably the greatest assembly of Roman Catholic church dignitaries ever to gather in Arizona.” Also present were many leaders of the city, county, state and federal governments.

Stained Glass Windows
An outstanding feature of the chapel is the series of stained glass windows, designed and executed by the artists of An Tur Gloine (Gaelic for “Tower of Glass”) of Dublin, Ireland, also known as The Co-Operative Stained Glass and Mosaic Works, Ltd. Miss Sarah Purser, a friend of Mrs. Brophy and a member of the Royal Irish Academy, organized and directed several of the famous stained glass Guild Workers, permitting each artist to treat his or her designed windows individually. They are called “jewel” windows, featuring symbols, in distinction to “figure” windows. As far as is known, in the United States only three other institutions feature these Irish windows, all on the eastern seaboard. At the time of Mrs. Brophy’s death, in 1934, only one window, the one in the choir loft, had not been ordered. in 1985, Mr. William Lupkin, a Scottsdale artist, was commissioned to design and execute this last window.

The theme of the windows is the symbolism of the articles of the Apostles’ Creed. Starting up front with the window near the pulpit and going counterclockwise, the articles of faith are symbolized as follows:

1.) The Alpha and Omega, first and last letters of the Greek alphabet: God, the beginning and end of all. (A.E. Child, Artist).

2.) Deus (Latin for God). Triangle: The most holy Trinity. The all-seeing eye: Omiscience of God. Ark of Noah, Sceptre and crown: Power and majesty of God. (A.E. Child, Artist).

3.) Sacred Heart: love of Christ. IHS: first three letters of Greek spelling of “Jesus” (Michael Healy, artist).

4.) Immaculate Heart of Mary, pierced by a sword. Angel Gabriel and Mary: the Annunciation. Letters M and A interwoven. Serpent crushed by Mary. (Hubert McGoldrick, artist).

5.) Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: chalice and host, wheat and grapes: Blessed Sacrament. (Katherine O’Brien, artist).

6.) (new window in the choir loft): Passion and Death of Christ: Cross, Crown of thorns, pillar and scourges, and other instruments of the crucifixion. (William Lupkin, artist).

7.) Christ, victim for our sins: Pelican feeding its young with its heart’s blood, and sacrificial lamb. (Katherine O’Brien, artist).

8.) The Holy Spirit: dove of love and peace, fire and torch of enlightenment and zeal. (Hubert McGoldrick, artist).

9.) The Holy Catholic Church: St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, fountain as dispenser of Graces. (Ethel Rhind, artist).

10.) Communion of Saints: Thurible smoke from incense rising to heaven. Forgiveness of sins: keys of authority given to St. Peter. (A.E. Child, Artist).

11.) Resurrection of the Body: the butterfly. Life everlasting: the crown and palms of victory. (A.E. Child, artist).

Relationship with St. Francis Xavier Parish
On December 19, 1928, a few months after the buildings were completed, St. Francis Xavier Parish was established as the second parish in Phoenix, St. Mary’s being the first. The Brophy student chapel served as the parish until 1959. Bishop Gercke named the parish’s boundaries as Virginia Avenue to the south, 19th Avenue on the west, 16th Street to the east and the southern side of the mountains on the north. But he asked the Fathers temporarily to consider their parish extending west to Glendale, east to Scottsville (sic) and north to the mountains.

Weddings are now performed in this chapel only when either the groom is a Brophy graduate or the bride is an alumna of Xavier High School.

IMG_1904 (wp)

Through the generosity of Brophy donors…

Mr. and Mrs. Greg Hoyt: St. Francis Xavier statue at the center of the Chapel Yard. Designed and sculpted by Brophy alumni parent Dr. Thomas Hudak.
Count and Countess Minotto, friend of Mrs. Brophy: Holy Family painting
Mr. James S. Douglas, friend and business associate of Mr. William Brophy: Antique Crucifix
The Ladies Sodality, 1947: Marble Baptismal font
Mrs. Robert Kelley: Pipe Organ
Mrs. Virginia Remp: Stations of the Cross, A.B. Clausen; frames made and donated by Ray J. Becker.
Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Hughes: side altar statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Sinski: side altar statue of St. Ignatius
Mr. and Mrs. David Vienna: St. Joseph
Mr. Rory Brophy: Altar drapery
The Jerry Glenn family: Sacred Heart statue, Chapel Yard fountain statue, now sits in the Graham Plaza
The Bayless Families: Stained glass window (choir loft)
Brophy Mothers 1985: Restoration of windows
Mr. William Lupkin: The Scottsdale artist designed, produced and donated the three stained glass windows in the vestibule


Comments are closed.

4701 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012 | 602-264-5291
Questions or comments about this site? Please .