Tabernacle Relocation

3 November 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Saint Augustine has said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, O Lord.” We certainly are familiar with feeling restless in these times. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to change our lives in many ways and the Church has not been immune to change during this time. We have eliminated half the seating in our Church, we are distanced from one another in our seating patterns, there is no Holy Water to bless ourselves with as we enter the Church, we wear face masks, our Holy Communion procession has changed its route, there are no processions, recessions or presentation of the gifts, our gifts to the parish are placed in boxes before Mass, there are no choirs to support us in our singing and no gatherings before or after Mass. In the midst of this, our hearts desire stability, depth, passion and more. We have an opportunity to fulfill these desires here in a very particular way.

The Catholic Church has been strongly encouraging parishes that reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a separate chapel in their Church building to bring the Eucharistic Presence of Christ to a “truly noble, prominent, conspicuous, worthily decorated” place in the Church. With the size and lack of ventilation in our Blessed Sacrament Chapel it has become necessary to make a change in our worship space. As such, we have a chance to bring our Church in line with the directives of the Church, “placing the tabernacle in the sanctuary, in a sufficiently elevated place, at the center of the apse area.”

In consultation with the Diocesan Office for Divine Worship and Bishop Daniel Thomas, we have an approved plan to make the necessary changes to our sanctuary. 

This project will begin in the very near future as soon as the oak is available for the Rood Screen. We have nearly $25,000 in designated contributions for this project already. Since the cost of oak has recently increased significantly, we need your support. If you would like to be a part of this project, please contact me and I will be happy to include you as a contributor, or if you would like to make an online contribution please click here.

May our Eucharistic Lord be honored through the completion of this project.

In the Spirit of Saint Joseph,

Rev. Msgr Michael R. Billian
pastor@stjoesylvania.org