Dedication of Our New Church
10010 Carolina Trace, Harrison, OH 45030
With praise and thanksgiving, our new church was dedicated to God by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr and the faithful of St. John the Baptist parish. The church was filled with joy-filled parishioners, special guests, choir and orchestra, priests and ministers, and nearby friends and families. We began the celebration outdoors with the raising of the flag and words from Mayor Neyer. To mark the opening of the church, the liturgy began at the front doors with the handing over of architectural plans to the Archbishop by Tom Gruber, Kevin Stuckwisch (Architect), and Ryan Strotman (project manager of Maxwell Constructation). Fr. Jeff opened the doors, and the people, led by the cross of Christ, processed into our new spiritual home. The ritual continued with the blessing of water at our new baptismal font, followed by Archbishop Schnurr sprinkling the community and altar for the first time with the waters that made us members of Christ's Body. The Lectionary, containing the Word of God, was presented to the Archbishop, and the readings were proclaimed for the first time at the new ambo. We were reminded by Archbishop Schnurr in his homily that it is the people of St. John's who bring life and light to this sacred building which has been set aside for the worship of our loving God. After the homily, the actual dedication rite began with the prayer of dedication, and Archbishop Schnurr anointing the altar with Chrism. Then, assisted by Fr. Kemper, Fr. Shine, Fr. Byrd, and Fr. Weldishofer, they anointed twelve places on the walls of the church as a reminder of the twelve tribes of Israel and that our church is now anointed by God. The altar and the entire church was made holy by the burning of incense. As the incense filled the space, we lifted our prayers and praises to God in song. Some of our First Communicants presented the gifts of bread and wine and money for the work of the Church, and, for the first time, the Eucharist was celebrated at our beautiful new altar by Archbishop Schnurr along with twelve concelebrants and the entire faithful. After this great prayer of thanksgiving, the people processed to the altar of the Lord to receive the Body and Blood of Christ consecrated as our spiritual food and drink. The Blessed Sacrament was then processed to the adoration chapel and placed in the tabernacle, inaugurating the chapel as a place of adoration and prayer. Finally, we were sent forth into the world to share the joy of the Gospel. The choir and other musicians, all under the leadership of Michael Johnson, helped us to sing praise to God with perfectly chosen music for each part of the rite. Other parish ministers fulfilled their roles with great dignity, bringing a true sense of the sacred to each element of the dedication ritual. The people, members of the assembly, brought life and light to our new church as they participated in full voice and entered into the Mass with joy and thanksgiving. It was truly a liturgy that reminded us of the sacred work we do as the people of God, to give worship and to go out into the world living the joy of the Gospel!
The dedication of our beautiful new church was a wonderful celebration, but only the beginning of life in our new church. Now it is time for us to make our church our spiritual home for years to come. Join us for the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays (Satuday - 4:00pm; Sunday - 8:30am & 11:15am; and weekdays at 7:30am!
To see the worship aid, go to: STJB Mass of Dedication Worship Aid.
Pictures below were taken by E.L. Hubbard, photographer for the Catholic Telegraph.