Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Thursday, April 19, 2018

holy-apostlesNorwich Bishop Michael R. Cote purifies the altar in the new Our Lady Queen of Apostles Chapel at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell Sept. 8. At right are Hartford Auxiliary Bishop Christie A. Macaluso, Bridgeport Bishop William E. Lori and Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, who presided. See more photos by Jack Sheedy in the Photo Gallery.

CROMWELL – Usually, worshipers will fill a church and then the servers and clergy will enter in a procession. On Sept. 8, at a new chapel at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, the order was reversed.

The occasion was the solemn Mass for the dedication of Our Lady Queen of Apostles Chapel. At such events, the bishop must enter the church first, as Norwich Bishop Michael R. Cote did, saying, "Go within his gates giving thanks; enter his courts with songs of praise."

More than five years ago, Holy Apostles’ president-rector, Very Rev. Douglas L. Mosey, had a vision for a new chapel to replace an 80-seat former tool shed. After reading a book titled The Spirit of the Liturgy, written by newly elected Pope Benedict XVI while he was still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Father Mosey was inspired by the book’s symbolism of "the rising sun in relation to the risen Son."

He wanted the new chapel to face east, to greet the rising sun.

The result is an octagonal, 10,000-square-foot edifice that seats 300 people. The original design, by artist and then-seminarian Father Paulus-Maria Tautz, was modified and built by Sullivan Brothers LLC of Wolcott. The octagonal design, Father Mosey said, is symbolic of the seven days of creation plus the day of Resurrection.

"You and I are continually being built into a holy temple," Bishop Cote said in his homily. "Is this not what this chapel is all about? Is this not, above all, what this college and especially this seminary is all about? It is here that solid men of faith will be prepared to enter into and foster God’s love. It is here that young and sometimes not-so-young men will be formed and made ready to share the good news of the birth of the Savior."

Bishop Cote, who is also chairman of the board and Chancellor of Holy Apostles, called the new chapel "an awesome place." He said, "It is where God dwells in you and where you will always worship him in spirit and in truth."

In his remarks following Mass, Father Mosey thanked the bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, seminarians, lay students and benefactors who helped build the $3.8 million chapel.

John Sullivan, a partner in Sullivan Brothers, said, "Of all the jobs I’ve worked on for the last 25 years, this one has given me the greatest satisfaction." He said the floor was made of stones that were quarried in Jerusalem. "Our Lord probably walked very, very close to them," he said. He pointed out that the cross that hangs above the altar was constructed from beams salvaged from the old chapel.

The dedication event drew nearly 500 people, including Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, presider; and concelebrants Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Hartford Archbishop Emeritus Daniel A. Cronin, Hartford Auxiliary Bishop Christie A. Macaluso, and Auxiliary Bishop of New York Gerald T. Walsh.

Also concelebrating were Very Rev. Addison H. Hallock Jr., provincial animator for the Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles; Very Rev. Isaac C. Martinez, the society’s superior general; Father Gregoire J. Fluet, vice president of Holy Apostles College; Father John G. Hillier, vice rector of Holy Apostles Seminary; Father Mosey; and about 125 other priests.

Deacons, religious, seminarians, benefactors, faculty and staff filled the main chapel or watched the services on closed-circuit television from the crypt.

Throughout the nearly three-hour Mass and dedication, the schola cantorum (ecclesiastical choir) sang Gregorian Chant, often a capella, under the direction of Father Robert Schikora, Brother Robin Kwan and Brother Ricardo Pineda. Brother Kevin Mann was music coordinator, and M. Jonathan Ryan provided organ music.

"I was very impressed with the schola," said Sister of Mercy Dolores Liptak, a historian of the Archdiocese. "That was a huge job for them to take on, because Gregorian Chant is not easy to master, and they did it with such simplicity."

Highlights of the dedication included the blessing and sprinkling of water as a sign of repentance and a reminder of baptism. Bishop Cote walked among the pews, sprinkling the people. He prayed: "May all here today, and all those in days to come, who will celebrate your mysteries in this church, be united at last in the holy city of your peace."

Transitional Deacon Rev. Mr. Jerome Schetter, who is finishing his studies at Holy Apostles, deposited the relics of several saints – Saints Andrew, James the Greater, James the Lesser, Jude Thaddeus, Jean de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Charles de Lalande and Maria Goretti – below the altar.

After a prayer of dedication, Bishop Cote said, "Lord, send your Spirit from heaven to make this church an ever-holy place, and this altar a ready table for the sacrifice of Christ."

He then anointed the altar and presented vessels of sacred chrism to several concelebrating priests, who anointed the walls of the church. Bishop Cote incensed the altar and deacons incensed the church.

The new altar was then draped with a new altar cloth and lighted with candles for its first celebration of the Eucharist.

At a reception after the liturgy, Father Mosey told the Transcript, "This marks the seminary for a significant step forward. It serves the seminary first and foremost, but also the college. This is going to be a great sign that we’re here to stay."

Franciscan Sister of the Eucharist Suzanne Gross said, "I have never been to one of these [church dedications] before, and I was very impressed. I was actually touched by the number of bishops and priests who were able to attend and the religious and the number of laity. It was really quite amazing."

Father Richard Breton, of St. Joseph Rectory in Grosvenordale, said he graduated two years ago from Holy Apostles. "It’s my first time attending a dedication, and I was quite edified at the beauty of the ceremonies. If you take the Easter Vigil and the dedication of a church, you put those both together, that’s our whole faith all in one."

A special guest was Father Benedict J. Groeschel, author, activist, EWTN television talk show host and co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Father Groeschel has often been a guest speaker at Holy Apostles Seminary, and he routinely advises many young men to study for the priesthood there.

"It was a beautiful dedication of a beautiful church, and I think this will put this seminary more on the map," Father Groeschel told the Transcript. "Father Mosey has done a superb, superb job, and the chapel, I think, will just be a beacon."