Providence dedicates new, much larger chapel

EVERETT — A beautifully decorated and much larger space is now available for people to pray and worship at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

The Catholic hospital’s Colby campus dedicated its new chapel, located on the ground floor of its recently built 12-story addition, on Thursday.

Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle presided over the dedication Mass, which included blessings, prayers and hymns. The 85-seat Ascension Chapel was filled nearly to capacity with donors and volunteers who helped create the new space.

The previous chapel had only 10 seats, said Tim Serban, vice president for mission integration and spiritual care at the Everett hospital. It will be kept a prayer space, he said.

The new chapel is located on ground occupied by part of the hospital’s previous emergency room, Serban said. The new space will be open to all from early in the morning until late at night. Catholic Mass and nondenominational services will be scheduled on weekdays.

“It’s reflective of our mission of providence,” Serban said. “It’s very important to care for the body, mind and spirit.”

The design for the new chapel has been in the works for five years and the space and its features have been under construction for about a year, Serban said.

Its primary artistic feature is a restored stained-glass window from the original Providence hospital in Seattle that depicts the ascension of Christ. The window is about 90 years old, Serban said.

The window was dedicated in the Seattle hospital in the 1920s and was removed about 10 years ago when Swedish Hospital acquired the building.

The window remained the property of the Sisters of Providence and was stored. It cost about $15,000 to have it restored, Serban said. Seattle Stained Glass did the work.

The window was covered with grime, Serban said.

“It was completely black,” he said.

The original window was separated into five parts. The central piece depicting the ascension is backlit and greets visitors as they walk through the door.

Two vertical side pieces are installed along the wall near the entryway. The top and bottom pieces of the original window are installed together on the opposite wall, forming an arch near the altar. This outside wall faces south and lets natural light through the stained glass.

The window is part of the Eucharistic chapel, a small meditation area connected to the main chapel.

Frames for the windows and entry door, along with a large pillar in the chapel and other features, are made of old-growth fir. The wood was torch-blackened and varnished in a style used by Mother Joseph, a late 19th-century Sister of Providence in Seattle who was also a woodworker and architect.

Several other components of the chapel incorporate images from the religious art of Italian Renaissance painter Fra Angelico, as recreated by artist John Tapert, of Duvall.

Tapert infused images by Angelico into glass pieces on the altar, crucifix, pulpit, tabernacle and sanctuary lamp. Another image by artist Pietro Perugino, a predecessor of Angelico, can be seen through the bottom of a glass bowl that will be used to contain holy water.

“The image becomes part of the glass,” said Tapert, 75, who attended the chapel dedication.

On the front of the altar, for example, is a glass piece showing Angelico’s fresco of the Last Supper, the original of which is in the Dominican Monastery of San Marco in Florence, Italy.

When asked about his technique, Tapert demurred. “I don’t tell,” he said with a smile.

Tapert also built the wooden structures themselves, such as the altar and pulpit.

Tapert, who is Catholic, has created pieces for other churches, such as Holy Innocence in Duvall and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in Woodinville.

Serban attended a service at the Woodinville church where he saw Tapert’s work and recruited him to do the work in Everett.

To keep the atmosphere peaceful, hospital intercom messages will not be broadcast in the chapel, Serban said.

“It’s a quiet, reflective place for people to gather,” he said.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439;


The Ascension Chapel at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett’s Colby campus is open to the public. Catholic Mass will be scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays, and nondenominational services are scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The hospital is located at 1700 13th St.

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