Anthony Rubano’s commute takes him past Sacred Heart Convent chapel nearly every day, but it wasn’t until he got his first peek inside that he realized what an architecture gem was hiding in plain sight in Springfield’s Historic West Side neighborhood.

Rubano, a project director for the Illinois Historic Preservation Office, will share his love of mid-20th Century architecture and design with guests at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel on Sunday October 7 during a 5:30 p.m. presentation, Reading Light: The art and architecture of Sacred Heart Convent Chapel. The event, held in Aquinas Center beneath the chapel at 1237 W. Monroe Street, is free.

Pre-registration is recommended.

Celebrate all day

Participants will be treated to light hors d’ oeuvres during Rubano’s 45-minute presentation hosted by the Dominican Sisters as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the dedication of their magnificent sacred space. It’s followed at 6:30 p.m. with Solemn Evening Prayer in the chapel, also open to the public.

“It is one thing to soak in the chapel’s visual beauty,” said Sacred Heart Convent liturgist Sister Francis Mary Philipp, OP. “It is an experience of a very different sort to join hearts and voices in prayer in our beautiful space. We sisters are privileged to do this every day. We’d love our guests to experience it with us.”

During the day Sunday, visitors to the convent can tour the chapel, learn more about the Dominican Sisters life and ministry, and visit with the sisters and their associates in an exhibit space beneath the chapel. There are activities for children and light refreshments. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. The first tour is 11:15 a.m. and then at 45-minute intervals after that. The last is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Tour group size is limited, so pre-register for a tour time to assure entry.

The Dominican Sisters of Springfield are part of a worldwide Dominican family, the Order of Preachers. For more than 800 years, Dominicans have preached the Gospel in word and deed. The Springfield Dominicans were established in Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1873 and relocated to Springfield in 1893. Today, thousands of sisters, nuns, priests, brothers, associates, and laity minister in more than 100 countries around the world. Want to join the Dominican Family? Be in touch!