History and art
Upon moving to the New Motherhouse in 1886, Fr. Peter Semenenko, co-founder of the Resurrectionists, in cooperation with Architect Pio Piacentini began construction of the chapel that is a part of the motherhouse today. Father Valerian Przewlocki, the supervisor was responsible for the actual building of the church, which was consecratedon November 5th, 1889.
The present interior of the church reflects the renovations completed in 1979 while Father Tadeusz Kaszuba was Superior General.
The church contains several paintings by well-known Polish artists: “The Ascension” by Henryk Siemiradzki “Doubting Thomas” and “Mary Magdalene” by Franciszek Krudowski “First Vows of the Resurrectionists” and “The Approval of the Congregation by Pius IX” by Franciszek Unierzyński.
It should be pointed out that the details of the “First Vows” are not historically accurate as to the people and the circumstances of the profession of vows. With regard to persons: missing from the painting are Edward Dunski, Hippolyte Terleck and Valerian Wieloglowski (a witness), whereas Bogdan Janski, Walerian Przewlocki and Caezary Plater are depicted, even though they were not present. As for the circumstances: the vows were actually pronounced after the Mass when Fr. Semenenko was no longer wearing liturgical vestments.
The marble niche-throne (where the statue of Our Lady of Mentorella is now located) is a gift from Prince Ladislaus Czartoryski. The two marble holy water fonts are the work of the sculptor Victor Brodzki. Above the main entrance to the church there is a bas-relief of the Risen Christ, the work of sculptor Pius Welonski. The altar came from an old Roman basilican, wwhile the three stained glass windows in the sanctuary depict the Risen Christ, Our blessed Mother and St. Joseph.
At the entrance to the church, on the left and identified by an appropriate plaque rest the earthly remains of our founders, transferred here from te Roman cemetery camp Verano. Just abovethis is a second larger and striking plaque honouring our first Fathers.
In the courtyard outside the church there are three items worth noting: A statue of Nicholas Copernicus sculpted by Oscar Sosnowski. Relics of Antiquity uncovered during the digging of the foundation for the church which are fixed in the wall. A marble bas-relief of the Risen Christ, the work of sculptor Michał Paszyna, a gift from the Chicago province in 1954.
Today the Chapel is used for the daily prayers of the members of the Congregation of the Resurrection who live in Rome and for our many visitors. The Eucharist is celebrated daily in our chapel and of course on Sunday.