Dedication of St. Pius X Church, Granger

Author Image

During this season of Lent, catechumens here and around the world are completing their final preparations to receive the sacraments at the Easter Vigil, when they will be washed in the saving waters of Baptism and confirmed with the sacred chrism. They will receive the Holy Eucharist and become dwelling places of the Lord. They will be consecrated to God as members of Christ’s Body, the Church.

This building is like our catechumens and today is like the Easter Vigil for this beautiful building made of stone, wood, steel, and tile. Already, the walls and the altar have been sprinkled with the holy water that is used in Baptism. Soon, the walls and the altar will be anointed with the same holy chrism that is used at Baptisms, Confirmations, and priestly ordinations. This building will thus become a church, a house of God. The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated and reserved here, making this place a true dwelling place of the Lord. At this Mass, this church is being dedicated and consecrated to the Lord. It will become a sacred building and reserved for sacred worship. And this block of stone will become an altar which henceforth will only be able to be used for the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Banquet of the Lord. Within it will be placed a relic of your holy patron, Pope Saint Pius X.

The dedication of Christian churches goes back to the early centuries of Christianity and even to the Old Testament. On the day when the great temple was consecrated in Jerusalem, King Solomon asked that the place might be specially blessed by the Lord. He prayed that God’s eyes would be fixed upon the temple and that His ears would be attuned to the prayers that would be offered there. God answered Solomon’s prayer for consecration by displaying His glory in the temple, filling it with smoke and incense, signs of His divine presence. Similarly, after this altar is consecrated today, smoke and incense will rise from it, as our prayers rise up to the Lord like incense. Like King Solomon, we pray that God will look upon this church, this temple, and that His ears will be attuned to the prayers that will be offered here today and for many years to come.

The Lord was present in the Jerusalem temple in the Holy of Holies which contained the Ark of the Covenant with the tablets of the ten commandments as well as the manna which fed God’s people in the desert. In this church, the Lord will be present in an infinitely more glorious way. By the power of the Holy Spirit, He will descend here every time the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is offered. Here the true bread from heaven, Jesus Himself, His Body and Blood will become present on the altar. And the Eucharist will be reserved in the tabernacle, making this place truly the dwelling place of the Lord, a new and more perfect Holy of Holies.

Tragically, the great temple of Jerusalem was ransacked and destroyed by the Babylonians. The people of God were taken captive and exiled to Babylon. After seventy years, thousands of the Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem where they found their homes inhabitable and the holy city in ruins. But their first priority was not to fix up their homes or repair the city. Their first priority was to rebuild the temple. Divine worship was at the very heart and center of their community life. They rebuilt the temple first, a great witness to their faith and their devotion to God.

Thankfully, the old Saint Pius church was not destroyed, but will be converted for parish rooms and offices. You are returning from your exile in the school gymnasiums. The building of this new church is a testament to your faith and devotion to God, the centrality of prayer and worship in your parish community life. I am very grateful for your amazing generosity and the sacrifices you have made to build this new house of God, this beautiful temple of the Lord. It was King Solomon who led the people to build the first temple of Jerusalem, fulfilling the dream of his father, King David, who so carefully planned the building and its décor. I am very grateful to Monsignor Schooler who has been both your K