St. Joan of Arc Chapel


We like to think of the Chapel as being the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere. It was constructed late in the 14th or early in the 15th century in southeastern France, near the City of Lyon. The chapel was part of a 60 room chateau that belonged to a prominent French family. After the French Revolution, it gradually became dilapidated. Then, after the First World War, a brilliant young French architect and archeologist discovered the ruined chapel and decided to reconstruct it.

In 1926 the Chapel was acquired by a wealthy New York woman, Mrs. Gertrude Hill Gavin, and it was transferred to her 50 acre estate on Long Island where it was used regularly for Mass and other services until her death in the late 1950's. On Long Island the Chapel was attached to an impressive French Renaissance chateau that Mrs. Gavin also brought stone-by-stone from France.

In 1962 the Gavin estate passed into the possession of Mr. And Mrs. Marc B. Rojtman, Shortly before they were to move in, a fire, which smoldered for sixteen hours, gutted much of the chateau but almost miraculously spared the Chapel.

The Rojtmans presented the Chapel to Marquette in 1964 and had it dismantled and sent to the campus for the University to reconstruct. A fleet of trucks, each truck carrying forty thousand pounds, brought the Chapel stones to Milwaukee, where the first shipment arrived in November 1964. After the material was stored for the winter and the ground was cleared, reconstruction on the campus started in July 1965. The Chapel was dedicated on the Marquette Campus on May 26, 1966.

Tour Information



To schedule tours, call the Campus Ministry office at (414) 288-6873. Tours last about 1/2 hour. No charge for tour, but donations are accepted.

Note: No weddings or baptisms are held at the chapel!


Campus Ministry

The office of Campus Ministry is located in room 236 of the Alumni Memorial Union. A dedicated staff is available throughout the day to provide you with a wealth of information. If you are searching for a worship space, they can help you find a suitable space on or off campus. They can also inform you of the many service opportunities we offer. Read More ...