Archbishop Lori Blesses New Altar in the St. Jude Chapel

Faith & Spirituality
September 26, 2023

Beautifully constructed to resemble the hands of God holding those who gather in prayer, the St. Jude Chapel has become the center point of the spiritual life of the School. As a Catholic School, the highest form of prayer we celebrate is the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Mass. The Mass brings the faithful around the Altar to give God thanks and praise and enter into the mystery of the Passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

The original altar in the St. Jude Chapel, which was constructed out of wood, has experienced its share of wear and tear. Up until this summer, the Chapel was not air conditioned. As such, years of extreme summer heat caused a number of cracks and splits in the wood. Our Facilities team took on the undertaking of restoring the beautiful wood to its original beauty, while also adding a new marble Mensa (top surface of an altar) and the accent of the John Carroll mitre to the front façade of the alter. The addition of the marble brought the altar into conformity with liturgical norms, which state that a fixed altar in a church or chapel should be made of precious stone and consecrated by a Bishop.

The dedication and consecration of an altar is a beautiful ritual, and we were blessed to have Archbishop Lori and Deacon Marty Perry '81 lead. First, the altar was sprinkled with holy water and blessed by the Bishop. Next, the litany of saints was prayed and the relics of a saint were placed in the altar. Our altar contains the relics of Saint Victorian, a fifth-century martyr. Then, the prayer of dedication was offered and the surface of the marble was consecrated with Sacred Chrism by signing the cross in five places (the center and four corners of the surface). Finally, incense was placed on the surface of the altar in the ancient biblical tradition that says, “May my prayer rise before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2). You can watch the full dedication here.