Cardinal Cushing School
Hanover Virtual Tour
Portiuncula Chapel, on the grounds of Cardinal Cushing Centers,
Hanover, Massachusetts, is the final resting place of Richard
Cardinal Cushing. It was his desire to be laid to rest close
to his beloved exceptional children.
The word Portiuncula
means "little portion" in Italian. When constructed on the
Hanover campus in 1953, Cardinal Cushing made a point of making sure
that every stone, every fresco, and every part of the Chapel came
from Assisi where the original chapel was built by St. Francis over
700 years ago.
It was Richard Cardinal
Cushing who initiated construction of the Portiuncula Chapel on the
scenic Hanover Campus. He looked for a stone mason trained in
the Italian marble tradition and authentic material, and found a
remarkable craftsman named Frank Tarzia in Hingham, whose search for
building stone ended in the quarries of Assisi, Italy. Every
stone had to match its counterpart in the original chapel.
When the precious cargo arrived in Boston Harbor, the Cardinal was
there to bless it.
Eminence visited two or three times a week to check on my progress,"
Frank Tarzia recalls. Tarzia often worked late at night when,
undisturbed, he could concentrate on each detail. The sisters
frequently climbed the hill to encourage him after the children were
in bed. They brought flowers to the place where the altar
would be. Sisters and children came to watch and cheer Mr.
Tarzia on when a crane lifted the statue of St. Francis to its place
on the roof. "I built it so firm and strong it will never come
down until the end of the world," Frank Tarzia said with justifiable
For many years Tarzia was
the only person privy to the fact that the Cardinal had selected
the Chapel as his burial place. It was a deeply personal
decision, one that merited secrecy. When the vault was
finished, Tarzia asked him if he wanted any embellishments on the
simple grave. "This is good enough," the Cardinal replied,
"and I want to be placed so that I am forever looking towards the
Chapel is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on
weekends, unless the walkways are icy.
Create a lasting
tribute to someone you love by having a brick installed in the
Richard Cardinal Cushing Memorial Park pathway at the Portiuncula
Buy a brick.
We also have Enrollment Cards to help
support the chapel. Order Enrollment Cards by calling