"Young Religious ought to enter blogs and correct the opinions of the youth, showing them the true Jesus" - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for Rome

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Plank Owners


A friend of ours whose husband is a naval captain compared the dedication of the Chapel to 'a ship coming to life'.  And this is a very good comparison.  The rite of the dedication of a church is rich with symbolism and beauty.  

For about 18 months we've seen this building in a its various stages of completion.  The last 6 months since living here, we traipsed in and out of the chapel - moving stuff, cleaning, giving tours, etc.  The chapel, though beautiful, was still just a building. It did not yet have life.  The True Presence of the Lord was not yet present. 

At long last, that came yesterday - during the rite of dedication and the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Let me walk you through some of the highlights and struck me to the heart:
Haydon Building Corp hands over the plans to the Bishop who in turn gives them to the Nuns
  • As the people began filling up the Church, there was a great excitement.  Perhaps, ANTICIPATION is a better word.  It was like a faint pulse was felt in the heart of the Church.  There were signs of life.  
  • Then the Bishop entered with a retinue of servers, deacons, and priests.  The pulse got stronger.  
  • The Readings were proclaimed and the Word of God - alive and active - was heard in this Church for the first time.  The pulse sped up.  The heart pumped more blood to its members.
  • The relic (St. Gaudiosa, martyr) was placed in the altar.  Such a grace to realize that the saints who LIVE with God in heaven are very much present to us even to this very day.
  • Then the Bishop anointed the Altar with sacred chrism.  Each wall of the Church was anointed as well.  Strength and life-breath continued to grow.
    Bishop Olmsted anoints the Altar with Chrism
    The anointing of the walls of the Church by Fr. Mark Mary
  • The altar was prepared for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by the nuns, then all the candles in the Church were lit.  It was like the light of life could be seen by all.  As this was done, the choir chanted:
    O Light born of Light, Jesus, redeemer of the world,
    with loving-kindness deign to receive suppliant praise and prayer.

    Thou who once deigned to be clothed in flesh for the sake of the lost,
    grant us to be members of thy blessed body.
    The Preparation of the Altar by Sr. Mary Fidelis and Sr. John-Mark Maria
    The Lighting of the Dedication Candles by Br. Francis Edkins, CFR
The Mass continued as usual after the lighting.  We were blessed to have many priests in attendance, some traveling as far as from Canada to be present for this special event.  
The Concelebrants
The culmination of this breathing of life into the lungs of our chapel, into the sails of our ship, was accomplished when Our Lord came among us in the Most Blessed Sacrament.  With the disciples of Emmaus we cry out: STAY WITH US LORD.  And he did. 
Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament after Mass

When a ship comes to life (aka planking), at its first commissioning, the crew members are called Plank Owners.  So we, the founding nuns of Our Lady of Solitude (the Plank Owners, so to speak), are especially grateful to have witnessed this 'ship's coming to life'. 
Sr. Marie Andre expressing her gratitude after Mass

6 years ago, as we left our Monastery in Alabama to establish this new Foundation it was with one driving motivation: TO ESTABLISH A NEW THRONE FOR OUR EUCHARISTIC KING.  On May 7th, as those reredos doors were opened at the end of Mass and the Lord of Glory took His Throne, that was accomplished - and it was accomplished in a mighty way.
Fr. Parks in Adoration after the Dedication
We are grateful that, unlike Moses, we were able to see the Promised Land - not from a distance...but so near to us.  And that now we are able to live in His Presence.  We see Him reigning in our beautiful Chapel as King.  May He reign forever in our hearts as well.

Our benefactress and dear friend Mrs. Connie Vitale
There are so many thank yous to say, but that will have to wait for another blog as this one is already growing long.  Enjoy the photos - more to come and more details to come as well. 
A HUGE thank you to EWTN and the crew who came to AZ to film


Kah10161 said...

Loved seeing the Dedication on TV; stayed up for it, too. (I'm on FL.) Loved the Navy comparison, too; my dad is retired Navy, Tiber River Swim Team '08.

Anonymous said...

I watched part of the service on EWTN loved seeing a St Joseph Statue with a crown. I was trying to work out who all the other statues were is there a plan?

churpgkids said...

Very beautiful liturgy. Who was the nun in the back of the cloister choir who was sitting apart from everyone?

Anonymous said...

Good luck Crurpgykids in getting an answer to your question.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the dedication of Our Lady of Solitude. I hate to admit I missed it being televised. Is there any chance there will be a "rerun"? I hope it will be shown again on EWTN for all who missed it. Please let us know. Thank you and God Bless!

Anonymous said...

The dedication was truly a beautiful graced filled event to witness via EWTN. Thank you for making that possible. I just wonder that I have not seen Sr Augustine recently on your blog or at the dedication, though I may have missed her. I hope she is OK.

blessings on your lives with this wonderful addition of the Chapel and may the monastery soon be showing the first signs of construction work.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for putting the dedication on Youtube. All I can say is, WOW!!! What a wonderful ceremony and all the statutes are beautiful, but especialy to me, are St. Joseph and Holy Mother St Clare , and of course, Christ Jesus Crucified on the Cross. I hope someday to be able to visit your Chapel and see the beauty of it all for myself. I have to say, that as I was watching the ceremony, all I was thinking was " these ladies must be jumping out of their skin" - it was so exciting!!! God Bless you all and now on to Phase 2!!!! the monastery.