The chapel was completed in 1874 under Mother Xavier Maguire’s directions and forms part of the old convent. As Archbishop Goold was absent in Rome, the ceremony of blessing and opening the chapel was performed by Dean Fitzpatrick on 24 May, 1874. 

The chapel is a beautiful example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture. Built between 1863 - 1874, it involved a number of architects in its design. The original drawings were undertaken by John Bourke of Dublin. Major alterations to these drawings were made by William Wardle and sent back to the Mother House in Ireland by Mother Xavier. No other changes to the plans were made by Mr T. A. Kelly, of Melbourne who was contracted to build the chapel. No evidence is available as to why the redesigning took place. The stonemasons who originally built the chapel came from Ireland.

The side chapel was added in 1877, the architect being Alexander Davidson.

After Vatican II, the altar was brought forward so the priest performing mass could now face the clergy. Sometime soon after that, in 1966 a decision was made to remove the central supporting pillar that divided the main chapel from the boarders’ chapel as the Sisters felt that the pillar obscured the view of the altar for the boarders.

Forty-five years later, in 2010 the chapel was suffering from extensive cracking which was always thought to have been caused due to the drought. When a gang of cockatoos moved into the slate roof and started to destroy it, structural engineers were called in, and it was found that the structure had been put at risk by the removal of the pillar.

For two years the chapel was closed while the pillar was reinstated, the slate roof replaced and the interior completely restored. The restoration included installing new heating, lighting, remodelling the high altar and repainting the ornate sanctuary dome and chapel walls.

Our new altar and lectern were crafted by Scott Ballan, from original redgum beams in the subfloor that were found to be rotting. The chapel has received its last final touches with our newest treasure, the ornate sanctuary lamp, imported from Dublin, Ireland, and originally hung in St Patrick’s Hall.

The 130-year-old Fincham organ has also been serviced and received a facelift, with beautiful gothic design painted onto the pipe facade by Mulholland Restoration and Decorating.

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