HARTFORD – James Gentile, an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and tour guide at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, talks with some of the students attending the cathedral parish’s summer religious education session on Aug. 9.
He described the altar and its embedded relics and relates some history of the massive concrete and steel structure. He told the group that it has stood as the mother church of the Archdiocese of Hartford since its dedication in 1962, when it replaced the mid-19th century brownstone that burned to the ground in 1956.
Mr. Gentile recalled his visiting the new cathedral as a youngster and said he was most impressed with the lighted stars in the towering ceiling, which made him feel close to heaven.
The students said they enjoyed seeing some of the special-occasion vessels and vestments used at the cathedral and learning many facts about the Mass and the facility. Several said they will pay attention now to such things as, for example, the number of candles arranged on the back altar, where six candles typically are. They were told to look for seven candles there whenever Archbishop Leonard P. Blair celebrates Mass.
The students, in grades three through nine, are meeting for two hours each day from Aug. 8 through 12. (Photo by Moo-Ket, grade eight, Grace Academy)