Chrism oil on the altar, two confirmation ceremonies and a special visit from Bishop Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas were part of the rededication of St. Luke’s, May 11, known as Good Shepard Sunday.
Bishop Kicanas, celebrated the mass that included Fathers Gilbert Malu, Deacon Armando Moulinet, Deacon Mario Castillo and Deacon Tom Willis.
On November 14, 2012 St Luke’s Church was damaged during an electrical fire. While damage was contained to the pulpit area of the church there was smoke, water and roof damage throughout the lobby and main chapel area.
The beloved church opened its doors after 15 months after the incident on March 1.
“This is a big day in our community,” Bishop Kicanas said.
Bishop Kicanas and Father Malu began the rededication with blessing the church with holy water.
The Bishop also blessed the altar with holy water before beginning his homily.
“Brothers and sisters in Christ this is a day of rejoicing. Let us ask our God to bless this water,” the Bishop said. “What a great Sunday to have this rededication mass, because it is good Shepard Sunday and all of us in this church have heard the voice of the Shepard he knows each of us by name and loves us dearly.”
The Bishop spoke of the good shepherd and how he guarded his sheep.
“The good shepherd is who we worship in this holy place, it’s that shepherd who comforts us in our struggles, in our difficulties, in our sufferings. It is that shepherd who consoles us in times of loss when we feel pain and sadness. It is that shepherd who sustains us who strengthens us who encourages us in our life’s journey,” he said. “So in this place we come from many different families from many different places. We come here with our joys and our sorrows we come here with our successes and our failures. We bring them into this holy place where we hear Gods word and were we are fed from the bread of life. So this church is a very special place in our community.”
Bishop Kicanas said that in our church we are not alone we are one family one household.
Bishop Kicanas blessed the altar and poured chrism oil on its four corners. The oil then was rubbed in by Father Malu, sealing the altar with the Holy Spirit. The walls were annotated with the chrism oil.
Then a brazier of incense was placed upon the altar, symbolizing prayer ascending to God. Finally, as in baptism, the altar was adorned with a white cloth and the lighting of candles took place as a sign of the faith.
“Here in this place we are one with Christ. It is here were we bring our children to be baptized to be washed in the waters were they become a child of God. It’s here where we come to be married to promise our love to our husband or our wife for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.” The Bishop added. “It’s here that we lay our loved ones to rest, where we ask the Lord to welcome our loved one to eternal life. The walls of this church and the altar which is the center of this church are very special to all of us.”
Bishop Kicanas also help celebrate St. Luke’s, Immaculate Conception and Loretto’s confirmations.