As the culmination of a year of renovation here at St. Mary's, the Most Reverend Joseph Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, celebrated with us the Dedication of a Church Already in General Use for Sacred Celebrations! It was truly a joyous event that was greeted with the most beautiful 84 degree weather!
The central part of the rite is the consecration of the altar by the bishop with the oil of Sacred Chrism (see photo, left). The altar is a sign of the Body of Christ in our midst: "From meditating on God's word, the ancient Fathers of the Church did not hesitate to assert that Christ was the victim, priest, and altar of his own sacrifice. For in the Letter to the Hebrews Christ is presented as the High Priest who is also the living altar of the heavenly temple; and in the Book of Revelation our Redeemer appears as the Lamb who has been sacrificed and whose offering is taken by the holy angel to the altar of heaven" (Rite of Dedicatin of a Church and an Altar, 2).
Jesus is therefore the anointed priest-king through whom, with whom, and in whom we are united with at the altar of His body. The altar is therefore the "table for a sacrifice and for a banquet. At this table the priest, representing Christ the Lord, accomplishes what the Lord himself did and what he handed on to his disciples to do in his memory. The Apostle clearly intimates this: 'The blessing cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that though there are many of us, we form a single Body because we all have a share in this one loaf' (1 Cor. 10:16-17)" (Rite of Dedicatin of a Church and an Altar, 3). Thus, Jesus Christ gathers us in the person of His priest to offer to the Father His body and blood, "the acceptable sacrifice that brings peace to the whole world" (EP IV).
With deep gratitude, we wish to thank God for the beauty of this house. Through His goodness this all came about through the hands of so many volunteers and to all of those we extend heartfelt thanks!
Click here for more photos of the Dedicaiton Mass.