Flanking the sanctuary on either side are two large chapels, the Nuns Chapel and the Lay / Rosary Chapel. The original intent was for these chapels to be used for early morning weekday masses, during which time the church proper would not be open.
The Nuns Chapel
Intended for use by the nuns of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Nuns Chapel on the south side of the sanctuary is decorated with some of the finest figurative windows in the church, these are the Visitation, the Assumption, and the Coronation of the Virgin. At the time of the church’s dedication the doctrine of the Assumption had just been defined by Pope Pius XII. The rear wall of the chapel is filled with a single roundel of pot glass, creating an abstract cross design. In the 1950 plan this wall would have contained a doorway to an exterior porch, allowing easy access from the convent. The passage from the south transept to the chapel contains a small window of the Virgin and Child, as Queen of Peace.
The Lay Chapel / The Rosary Chapel
The chapel on the 82nd Street side of the sanctuary was designated the Lay Chapel and was also intended to have an exterior door and porch on its rear wall to allow direct access from the street. Three beautiful windows by William Olsen, illustrate the 15 mysteries of the rosary as prayed before Pope John Paul II’s Mysteries of Light were added. This chapel is fittingly used today for daily recitation of the rosary. A window with an abstract cross design is on the north wall. The passage from the north transept to the chapel has a beautiful window of Christ the King, on whose feast day the church was dedicated in 1954.