One Church, One Body In Christ
Dear friends in Christ:
I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news. The bad news first. In meeting with our contractor, we have been informed that due to weather delays and continued difficulties in obtaining materials, the completion date for our project has been pushed back. This comes as a disappointment, but there are things that are beyond control of those of us here at the parish, the General Contractor and even the sub-contractors. Many of our pieces are custom made and are being manufactured just for our project (sky lights, doors, locks etc.) and we just have to be patient. We have also received word that there are also delays with the shipping and installation of the new organ and with the installation of the bells. As people keep reminding me, ‘Construction is construction!’ These delays will not change the date for the dedication of the new altar. Cardinal DiNardo will still be here on Saturday morning, March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, to dedicate the altar. So mark your calendars and make plans to celebrate this great day!
Now the good news! We have a number of events planned to celebrate the blessing of the new altar. There will also be celebrations commemorating the new organ and the bell tower once they are completed. As part of the festivities for the dedication of the new altar, the blessing of the statues and other elements of the renovation, our parish will receive a special honor. For the dedication and for the weekend Masses of March 25 and 26, the current Curé of Ars, the successor of Saint John Vianney, Fr. Patrice Chocholski, will be our special guest of honor! Additionally, for the Mass of Dedication and for all the masses that weekend, we will have the unique and special privilege of using the actual chalice of St. John Vianney! This is a great and special honor. We are deeply grateful to Pére Patrice for making this possible for us as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of our parish.
And there is more! As you know, the new altar, ambo and tabernacle throne are fabricated from stone that was quarried from Jerusalem, the site of the Last Supper, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Lord. The new Presider’s Chair and deacons chairs are being constructed with wood that was salvaged from St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica in Galveston, the first Cathedral in Texas and the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The Cathedral was built in 1847 and still serves as the Cathedral for our Archdiocese and “Mary’s Shrine” for the Church in Texas. After Hurricane Ike devastated the Galveston area in 2008, the original wood floor of the Cathedral Basilica was replaced with stone. We were fortunate to obtain some of the original wood which has such a historical tie to the history of the Church in Texas for our parish. Further, through the generosity of parishioners, Wyn and Carolyn Norris, the new shrine to St. John Vianney will have a brick from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome placed in a special case in the wall. This terra cotta brick which was specially imprinted for the Holy Door of 1975, was obtained by the Norris Family and has been a cherished possession. We are so honored to have a little piece of St. Peter’s in our church home!
Each of these elements illustrate in a tangible way, our connectedness to one another and to those who have gone before us. The Church in the Holy Land, the Church in Rome, the Church in Texas and the Church in this small part of the Lord’s vineyard in West Houston is all one Church. We are indeed, One Body In Christ!
Please continue to keep our beloved parish in your daily prayers that we may grow more fully in God’s grace so as to love God more and more each day and to make Him more loved by all!
In Pace Christi,
Fr. Troy Gately