Seminarian offers online video tour of seminary chapel

May 26, 2020

Wayne Ly, a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, produced an online video that tours the St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel in Houston. The video explores the mosaic apse found behind the altar, seen above, and the rose window, seen at right. (Photos by James Ramos/Herald)

HOUSTON — Walking through the spiritual home for many priests in the Archdiocese and around the nation, Seminarian Wayne Ly carried his video camera to highlight the features that make the 66-year-old St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel unique.

In the chapel, built in 1954, the Sacraments and spiritual lives of the men studying to become priests find refuge and growth. The seminarian’s video, available free online, shares a special glimpse into the chapel not seen by many.

In the video, Ly explains the arrangement of the pews, which face each other rather than the altar as found in most parish churches. Those living at the seminary campus pray the Liturgy of the Hours together, alternating sides during different parts of the prayers.

The video pans slowly, focusing on the unique apse that features a mosaic depiction of Christ, the Paschal Lamb, as well as the 12 doves representing the 12 tribes of Israel. Vines climb out from the center of the apse, reaching into the pews where vines and grapes are hand carved on both sides of the aisle.

The video also showed the bishop’s and rector’s seats, the historic stained glass windows, Stations of the Cross, and hand painted geometric ceilings.

To watch Ly’s video online, visit Also available are additional links to other holy sites offering virtual pilgrimages and tours, like the Vatican Museums and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

For more about St. Mary’s Seminary Chapel, visit St. Mary's Seminary is also a key part of the IGNITE: Our Faith, Our Mission campaign