Bishop blesses and dedicates Nativity Chapel

By Tim Lilley

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel blessed and dedicated Holy Rosary Parish’s new Nativity Chapel during a June 4 evening Mass in the chapel.

Holy Rosary pastor Father Bernie Etienne told The Message that weekday Masses will be celebrated in the chapel, and weekday Eucharistic Adoration will take place there. He also anticipates the chapel to host smaller weddings and funerals.

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel opens the June 4 Mass for the blessing and dedication of Holy Rosary
Parish’s Nativity Chapel.

The bishop expressed his great joy for being able to bless and dedicate the chapel, and he suggested the theme of the evening could be “mission accomplished.” He said that the sense of mission should affect everything we do, and he called the Holy Spirit to come upon everyone to inspire them to live Christ-like lives of mission and service. He added that, while the mission of designing, funding and building the chapel was complete, the real mission is just beginning. He gave thanks for the new prayer space before blessing it, sprinkling holy water and censing the chapel.

Pastor Father Bernie Etienne called it “a very important day for our parish and our life.” He recognized many faithful daily Mass attendees and daily Communicants, and he called the Mass, blessing and dedication “the culmination of the last five or six years of planning and work.

“The space also honors the monumental transition involved with bringing together the Nativity and Holy Rosary communities,” he added, noting that calling the new space the Nativity Chapel was a perfect way to honor the legacy of the parishes. Nativity and Holy Rosary parishes merged in July 2016 to form the new Holy Rosary Parish.

Just outside the chapel, highlighting a new gathering area at Holy Rosary Church, is the Nativity stained-glass window that had been installed in the former Nativity Church. Father Etienne also noted that the tabernacle and Stations of the Cross from Nativity are in the new chapel. He said the stations were refurbished and mounted on new wooden backs.

Father Etienne said the table that holds the tabernacle and the chapel’s altar came from a church in Michigan that was making some changes. He and Parish Manager Joe Holtz built the ambo, paschal candle holder and votive lampstand out of red oak from Father Etienne’s farm in Perry County. He also noted that the brass frame around the votive candle at the tabernacle and the brass candle holders used on the altar came from the old Holy Rosary Church.

Father Etienne offered special thanks to Holtz for his efforts. “The bishop gave me credit for shepherding and watching over this project,” he said, “but you all know it was really Joe Holtz. God bless you, Joe.”

The pastor thanked all those who attended. “We’re so grateful you’re here,” he said. “It’s a blessing we could share this together.”