On National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, June 21, 2017, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed a rare honour on St. Catherine’s Chapel at Massey College, designating it a Chapel Royal in recognition of the sesquicentennial of Canada and the relationship between Massey College and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
In Anishinaabek, The Chapel Royal at Massey College is called Gi-Chi-Twaa Gimaa Kwe Mississauga Anishinaabek AName Amik – The Queen’s Anishinaabek Sacred Place. It provides inspiration, to the Massey College community and beyond, to learn about and take initiative toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
The history of the chapel dates from the founding of Massey College. Vincent Massey, Canada’s first Canadian-born Governor General and one of the founders of the College, insisted that it be included in the design, arguing that it would “symbolize the position that religion should have in a house of learning.” It was intended as a space for people of goodwill, of all faiths.
Services are held in the chapel throughout the academic year. The liturgy is primarily that of the Anglican Church of Canada, but other faiths are also represented, and broadly inclusive interfaith services are held each term.