Friday, July 22, 2022

St. Joseph's Chapel

It's not good for man to be alone, says the celibate priest. Celibacy is for intimacy. The only way a consecrated single life makes sense is within a prayerful relationship with Jesus Christ. To help foster such devotion a place of prayer, or chapel, in the rectory is a good idea. It also gives the priest a place to celebrate daily Mass when one is not scheduled in the main Church or on his day off. We've had a makeshift chapel in the rectory for years. But wanting a more solemn space dedicated only to prayer, we built St. Joseph's Chapel. This is not a consecrated chapel nor does it contain the Blessed Sacrament. Both would be nice, but that takes further discussion. A designated place of prayer in the rectory, totally encouraged. 

Construction on the chapel began well over a year ago during the year of St. Joseph. It seemed fitting to name it after him. After all, it is located right next to his pool hall. 

There is a large store room in the basement of the rectory. So we just moved some things, threw a few more out, and got to work. 

The room would be about 10' by 14'. Simple framing was needed to box in the already corner space. 

Once we cut a hole in the wall for the door there was no turning back. 

From the get go, a robust, earthly chapel that would raise your heart to Heaven was the vision. The oak beams definitely helped with that goal.  

Dave and his wood shop were no small players in this endeavor. 

Solid oak was used when able. But oak plywood sufficed on many occasions.  

For painting of a high caliber, Wanda is the woman of choice. She does some amazing work and truly let her light shine in our little chapel. 

Brenis also lent a hand on those two man jobs. 

The Cross was a family affair, as Dave's brother risked his life holding the lumber while Dave routered the edges.  

Once the wood was all built we had a staining party. 

The golden brown stain was leftover from the construction of the house. We were also able to make use of much of the old trim that was still around. 

Installing the stained fixtures on painted walls really made it come alive. 

This cabinet is handy for storing sacred vessels, vestments, and necessary components for celebrating Mass. 

The statutes really dressed the chapel up. This one of our Lady of Lourdes is one of my favorites. 

It's hard to beat St. Joseph the Worker though. 

The Altar is not fixed to the wall, so it can be slid out for the celebration of Mass if need be. 

The buckskin walls and rock floor give a natural feel to the room. The Marian blue sanctuary wall draws one into the reality of our Lord's incarnation. 

Prayer time. 

Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus who helped fund our project. As well as to all those who lent a hand, especially with the dry wall, flooring, and painting. They all know the necessity for priests to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ if they are going to serve in the person of Jesus Christ. All People of God are called to intimacy with the Trinity. For the priest, however, Jesus in the Eucharist is his spouse. It just makes sense for him to spend time with Him. I think St. Joseph would agree. All glory to God. 

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