Updates from the Rector!
FEAST OF ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
There is special devotion in our community to this Archangel that goes all the way back to our Founder, St. Paul of the Cross. Many Passionist churches and foundations are named in his honor. There is a beautiful painting of St. Michael in our first church on Monte Argentario. The second Monastery built was called San Angelo after him. From the beginning, St. Paul noted that St. Michael was our special protector. When the first monastery was built, there was great hostility and jealousy against our institute and an attempt was made to destroy it. St. Michael was seen in a vision with a flaming sword protecting the building. The founder also noted that St. Michael protected him from accepting unworthy candidates who could hurt our community. Pray to him for us today that we will accomplish a beautiful renovated church, a gift for God. Pray also for good strong candidates to live this life and proclaim the love of Christ Crucified.
CHURCH RENOVATION UPDATE
Wednesday, June 24th, is the date set for consecration of the new altar and blessing the renovated church. The Passionists from our Province will be here because the Annual Assembly is being held in our retreat house that last week of June. The church is closed off till around Easter. The past week saw the demolition of the sanctuary, the removal of pews, the taking up of the floor and center aisle, the confessional nearest to St. Joseph was removed. On Monday, trucks will arrive to facilitate extraction of all the insulation in the crawl space above the ceiling. This is an unforeseen expensive process by which the plaster will be chemically treated so as not to crumble or become a safety problem. When completed, scaffolding will be erected for the painting and plastering of the entire church. All remaining pews will be hauled away by this coming Wednesday. The new marble altar, a marble St. Gemma Galgani statue, a beautiful marble crucifix, the St. Maria Goretti shrine statue, the reredos for the sanctuary, the ambo and the tabernacle. All are in process of being sculptured and made in studios in Italy. The contract for all new pews was finalized and signed. The four major paintings have been totally cleaned and repaired. Ready to be hung after the walls are painted. Electrical work and the lighting of the façade commences in November. The St. Gabriel shrine will be beautified, painted and marble cleaned. It’s moving ahead!!
MONTHLY HOLY HOUR FOR PASSIONIST VOCATIONS
The Passionist Lay Associates will begin sponsoring a monthly Holy Hour with Benediction to pray for Passionist Vocations, starting this November. All people are invited. At the November service, we will bless two new stones in our cemetery commemorating two young Passionists buried in an unmarked common grave in St. Michael’s. More to follow…..
CHANGES BRING CHALLENGES
When renovations are finished, we will return to our usual schedule of Masses and an open church. We made our private monastery and retreat chapel available for public usage these days. At times, we have to limit access to the chapel because we are in the retreat season and also to maintain privacy for our monastery. Please be patient. It is necessary to maintain safety and privacy. Lastly, we are dependent on the Sunday collection and the donations from Novena Shrine to make our budget and pay our bills. Both have decreased. The shrine remains open and can be accessed through the side door. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and needed.
Fr. Justin Kerber, C.P., Rector