Church Renovation Happenings: Removing the Altar
What happened to the old altar?
On Sunday Archbishop Hebda celebrated the last Mass on the altar, and in turn decreed it permanently for profane use, according to Canon 1212 of the Code of Canon Law. Sunday afternoon we removed the relic from the altar, which will be installed in our new altar. Unfortunately, the relic had no identification of what saint it is, so that is still a mystery. On Monday we broke down the altar into pieces and buried it at the cemetery.
Why was the altar buried and not reused as an altar or something else?
With the renovation plans that we have in place, the current altar does not fit the design, nor would it be practical for another church to use the altar, due to its weight, etc. In consultation with the Archdiocese and other priests, we discerned that the best option would be to bury the altar, as we do with other sacred objects as well. It would not be appropriate to use the stone for anything else but an altar.
Where did the “temporary” altar come from?
The temporary altar was donated to us from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kelliher, MN. I actually found it while playing pool in the basement of the rectory while on my way to Lake of the Woods. The altar was in rough shape, but I thought that we could make it useable again, while we continue to have Mass in the church and soon in the Gathering Place. I enlisted the help of Jack Jasper and Mary Stumpfl to “touch up” the altar, and they went above and beyond anything that I could have imagined. They have made it a truly beautiful altar, as many parishioners have already mentioned. A special thanks to both of them for their dedicated service.
The new sanctuary layout will feature a 4 ft deep baldacchino over the altar of repose, a new altar of sacrifice engraved with Ecce Agnus Dei (Behold the Lamb of God), a walk-in ambo, new presiders' chairs, and new statues of the Holy Family. The original tabernacle and crucifix will be reused in the new sanctuary. The new sanctuary will also feature a handicapped accessible ramp access along the south side.
The main entrance to the church will be through the Gathering Place. In the back of church, you will now find a permanent baptismal font, with full-immersion capacity, the choir area, featuring a new digital organ, and removable overflow seating.
The expanded adoration chapel will have increased seating capacity and feature both the Holy Family relief statues from the original 1st Street church and angel statues donated by Ernie and Mary Anne Pivec in memory of their children.
Progression of the Stained Glass Windows
The design of the 9 stained glass windows has been a beautiful process of studying the life of St. John the Baptist through sacred Scripture. Much like the artistic process for any work of art, the windows have undergone several stages of design and redesign. Here we would like to share with you a glimpse into the progression to the final rendering of the life of St. John the Baptist in stained glass, which is being produced by Gaytee-Palmer Stained Glass, and will be part of the church renovation project scheduled for completion this December.
1. The Angel Gabriel Appeared to Zechariah (Luke 1:5-15)
2. The Visitation (Luke 1:39-45)
3. The Birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:57-80)
4. John the Baptist Preaching in the Desert (Matthew 3:1-5, Mark 1:4-8, Luke 3:1-18)
5. The Baptism of the Lord (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:28-34)
6. Behold the Lamb of God (John 1:29)
7. John the Baptist Preaches to Herod (Matthew 14:4, Mark 6:18, Luke 3:19)
8. The Beheading of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:8-10, Mark 6:27)
9. The Burial of John the Baptist (Matthew 14:12, Mark 6:29)