GREENVILLE—Stained glass windows from a closed church in Massachusetts will have light flowing through them once again when the new church at Our Lady of the Rosary is completed.
The parish has purchased 42 windows that originally were in St. Mary the Morning Star in Pittsfield, one of many parishes in the area that has closed in recent years because of dwindling attendance, parish consolidation and other factors.
Father Dwight Longenecker, administrator at Our Lady of the Rosary, said the windows are especially distinctive because they were designed by the late Wilbur H. Burnham, one of the country’s best known stained glass artists. His work currently hangs in notable places of worship like the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Washington, D.C., and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
Father Longenecker found them nearly three years ago in a catalog put out by King Richard’s Liturgical Design and Contractors of Atlanta, a company that specializes in salvaging religious items.
The find seemed to be guided by God, he said, because the design for the proposed new church called for 42 windows, and that was what was available for sale at King Richard’s.
“We’re building a new Romanesque-style church, and you can’t just go and snag some windows and plunk them in,” Father Longenecker said. “They have to be the right style and the right size. And before long we found these, which were just what we were looking for. What sealed the deal was the rose window, which features the mysteries of the rosary.”
The parish paid about $180,000 to have the windows removed and originally stored in Greenville. Father Longenecker said they are now in Lynchburg, Va., where they will be cleaned and have new frames constructed for them.
The estimated cost of the building project for the new church is $5 million, and about $3 million has been raised so far. Father Longenecker said they hope to break ground on the new building in the spring.
Sid Tate, a parishioner who serves on the building committee, said many people wanted stained glass for the new church, but he thought that was only a dream because of limited available funds.
When Father Longenecker said he had found the set from Massachusetts, Tate was amazed. He took a trip with the priest to look at the windows before the purchase and said the journey was transforming.
“We get to this little town and we see this beautiful brick Romanesque style church,” Tate said. “I immediately felt: ‘The Holy Spirit has us here for some reason.’ And then we started looking at the windows and I was just amazed.”
Tate said it was very moving to look around the former church, now empty, and think about the immigrant families and others from the neighborhood who had worshiped there.
“It was an extremely loving experience to be there and witness those windows in that place, to feel a connectedness with those families and think that now we would transport the windows to another neighborhood where people would worship with them,” Tate said.
The following is Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone’s calendar for January:
Jan. 3—6 p.m., SEAS donor reception, St. Andrew Church, Myrtle Beach
Jan. 4—11 a.m., Mass, St. Andrew Church, Myrtle Beach
Jan. 10—11 a.m., Pro-life march and rally, Statehouse, Catholic youth rally and Mass, Township Auditorium
Jan. 12—9 a.m., Secretariat meeting, Education and Faith Formation offices, Charleston
Jan. 15—12:05 p.m., parish catechetical leader appreciation Mass and lunch, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Charleston
Jan. 17—5:30 p.m., Celebration of Life Mass, 35th anniversary of Birthright of Columbia, St. Peter Church, Columbia
Jan. 19-22—Annual Convocation of Priests, Charleston
Jan. 25—4 p.m., LARCUM Prayer Service, College Place United Methodist Church, Columbia
Jan. 26—10 a.m., Mass, dedication of the St. John Paul II Chapel, St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Greenville; 7 p.m., Confirmation, Divine Saviour Church, York
Jan. 27—7 p.m., Confirmation, Jesus Our Risen Savior Church, Spartanburg
Jan. 28—7:30 a.m., Red Mass of the Holy Spirit, Catholic Day at the Capital, St. Joseph Church, Columbia; 7 p.m., Confirmation, St. John Neumann Church, Columbia
Jan. 29—10 a.m., Curia meeting, Charleston
Jan. 30—10:30 a.m., Accounting & Finance Committee meeting, Charleston
LEXINGTON--Corpus Christi Church celebrated Bambinelli Sunday on Dec. 14. St. John Paul II started the tradition 30 years ago as a way to emphasize to children and families what the real meaning of Christmas is.
The pope gives this special blessing of Christ Child figurines that families bring from their Nativity set at on Gaudete Sunday at noon in St Peter's Square. Children are also blessed. The name of the event comes from "bambino" which is the Italian word for baby.
"It is so easy to get caught up in the material frenzy and the secularization of Christmas," said Father Raymond Carlo, pastor of Corpus Christi. "I thought that this would be a good way for us to do what the Knights of Columbus have tried to push for so many years, 'keep Christ In Christmas.' It is also a good way for us ... to stay united with the universal Church and with the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the Holy Father in Rome."
Father Carlo said he used the same blessing as the pope used. The blessings were given at the end of all four Masses at Corpus Christi.
I was recently walking down Broad Street in Charleston and saw a gentleman arranging Christmas decorations outside his home. I mentioned to him that “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” repeating the line from that standard Christmas song. How is it that things begin to look like Christmas? What are the elements of life that reflect what this season is all about?
First of all, it is obvious that people are really kinder to one another: more politeness, more openness and a real desire to reach out in compassion to those in need. As we prepare to celebrate the 25th of December, we are generous: food drives, gift collections for needy children, Christmas cards (even those we hardly ever see during the year). It appears that the spirit of the season causes us to reach out to everyone.
Isn’t that what it is all about anyway? God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son as gift to all people. Jesus Christ, born in a stable in Bethlehem, would one day stretch out His arms both in embrace of the whole world and in willing submission as He was nailed to a cross for the salvation of every one of us. All that is necessary for us is that we accept this great gift in its entirety and accept Jesus as the center of our life and as true meaning for the whole world.
Perhaps this humble beginning of the human journey of the awesome God in the person of Jesus tugs at our emotions as well as our reason. Christmas causes us to reflect on the deeper realities of life and it becomes easier during this season to see this beautiful baby boy born of Mary as true inspiration for peace, justice, and beauty in our world.
Would that Christmas and all its beauty might last beyond the season. That certainly is the desire of our God, and with effort, we can extend the peace and joy of Christmas into the new year.
A blessed Christmas to you and all the best for a happy, healthy and holy new year!
+ Robert E. Guglielmone
Bishop of Charleston
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- January 25 2015 OLM Outreach auction fundraiser
- January 25 2015 LARCUM prayer service
- January 25 2015 St. Joseph School open house
- January 25 2015 Prince of Peace School open house
- January 26 2015 - January 29 2015 A Spirituality for Relationships
- January 27 2015 St. John School open house
- January 27 2015 St. Peter alumni reception