I think some of you have already heard by now that I renovated the chapel in the rectory. Right up front, I want to say that no parish money was used for the project. It was all gift money from my last parish, as well as plenty of my own personal money. And, there was a donor from outside the parish who helped out as well.
When I got to the parish in July 2020, the rectory chapel was on the first floor, and I just thought that it needed a lot of work. The Blessed Sacrament is worthy of having the best room in the house! As soon as I arrived, I had a vision for using an empty room upstairs, and I even thought the Lord gave me the design themes in a prayer time last year – particularly the white statues and Last Supper altar frontal, the cherry wood, and the brass/gold highlights. I ran my intentions by the Bishop, and he gave permission.
Greg Schreiner used the current altar as a basis, and then built the backdrop to the altar (the “reredos”) using plans from the altar at my last rectory as a guide. I found a company that fashioned the white stations of the cross to match the statues. I was not able to find a marble statue of St. Wendelin; but I was able to find a wooden one from a carver in Tirol in Northern Italy. I had a friend prep that wooden statue and paint it to match the white marble statues. It was all a very long process, but I am very pleased with how it all turned out.
The rectory chapel is important – with the Blessed Sacrament reserved there – so that the pastor can always get Blessed Sacrament prayer time in, no matter what might be happening in the church. A Blessed Sacrament chapel in the rectory helps the pastor keep his spiritual routine – his spiritual rule – in place. Put bluntly: with a chapel in the rectory, the pastor never has a reason to miss prayer!
Hopefully we can have an open house in the rectory (perhaps at Christmas time?), and everybody at that time will be able to see the new chapel. I certainly remember all of the parish needs – especially the parishioners I know who are sick – as part of my daily chapel time.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,