Mary Keane Chapel

1929 – 1932

The Mary Keane Chapel at Enfield Shaker Museum dates from the post-Shaker era at the Church Family site. Designed by architect Donat R. Baribault of Springfield, Massachusetts, the chapel was built by the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette with funds donated by their benefactress, Miss Mary Ann Keane (1867-1932). The cornerstone was laid in June 1931, construction continued for many years, and the chapel was consecrated in August 1946.

The Latin inscription over the portico of the Mary Keane Chapel means “Go Therefore Teach All Nations” (Matthew 28:19), which summarizes the La Salette’s objectives as a missionary order. The sanctuary features a renowned pipe organ built by Casavant Frères Ltée. of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada (Opus 1397, 1930). The organ has 29 ranks, 1,862 pipes, 4 divisions, 3 manuals, 28 stops, and 26 registers. The stained-glass windows in the sanctuary, made by the F.X. Zettler Studio in Munich, Germany, relate the Seven Sorrows of Mary, as well as the history of the La Salettes and the miracle on which the Order was founded. When the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette sold the property in 1985, the chapel was deconsecrated. Today, it is open to people of all faiths.

Founded in France in 1852, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette established their first North American chapter in Hartford in 1892. Mary Keane, while living in Hartford, Connecticut, inherited a fortune from her uncle Edward J. Mulcahy and pledged that fortune to assist the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in the establishment of a French language seminary in Enfield, New Hampshire. Her wealth helped purchase the former Enfield Shaker community, renovate the historic buildings for La Salette’s use, and build the chapel, which was a memorial to her uncle.

Mary Ann Keane died in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1932 and is the only woman buried in the La Salette cemetery, which can be seen just north of the museum’s herb gardens and next to the Shaker cemetery.

An inspiring 10-minute video describing the interior of the Mary Keane Chapel that was produced for the Museum in 1991.

A collection of additional photographs of the Mary Keane Chapel can be viewed on the La Salette website.

Read a Biography of Mary Ann Keane.