Yale University Saint Thomas More Chapel and Catholic Center

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Set beside Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel and its Community Center, a new contemplative garden greets parishioners, visitors, and students with space for refreshment, reflection, and reconnection.

This modest but ebullient urban landscape is created from former alleyway and narrow back-of-house support spaces in downtown New Haven. Each season brings new scenes to St. Thomas More’s contemplative garden. In spring, woodland phlox, dogwood, and daffodils peonies burst forth. In summer, peonies, climbing roses, then lilies. Japanese anemones, come fall. These layered plantings, selected to celebrate key dates within the liturgical and campus calendar, rise up from families of ferns and delicate ground covers. A labyrinth at the garden’s center registers the contemplative practice of prayer upon the ground plane. The garden is a transformative sanctuary set within a dense city landscape—a place of sanctitude that both symbolizes and celebrates the growth of the center’s community. The garden also established pathways and terraces that meet the need for an ADA-accessible ingress/egress to St. Thomas More’s community room and chapel. Conceived with care, the garden is an act of devotion and an index of the parish’s open, inclusive values and practices.


New Haven, CT




<1 acre




  • 2024 CT ASLA Honor Award for Design