Monday, March 31, 2008

Jesus is in the house: Town Overjoyed as Bishop Places Eucharistic Lord in Tabernacle of Ave Maria Oratory

Under sunny blue skies, the residents and students of Ave Maria, joined by hundreds of others, celebrated the day that the Incarnation was made known by the message of an angel as they delighted in the long-anticipated dedication ceremony of the absolute center of town: the Ave Maria Oratory.

As the sounds of the university schola cantorum filled the oratory with rich angelic songs of praise, the worshippers praised God for all He has done and prayed that their own efforts might give some small glory to God, each one contemplating how it is that they came to be part of this great apostolate - and this new parish.

For some it has been a journey of over 10 years and thousands of miles. For others it was an unexpected and more recent journey across town. But for all, it was a journey TO the heart of the Church: the altar and tabernacle of the Lord.

Bishop Frank Dewane was jubilant throughout the Mass and most gracious at the press conference held immediately afterwards, during which he repeated his delight in Ave Maria University and Town and his expectations and hopes that both will rapidly grow. His public and enthusiastic embrace of Ave Maria was not what the assembled press corps expected -- and they tried in vain to provoke some sign of anything but warmth and joy in his excellency.

It was a day to savor the sweet splendor of Truth.

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Naples News Photos, top to bottom: Bishop Dewane before liturgy begins. Bishop Dewane delivers homily. Newly announced parish administrator, Father Robert Tatman, greets residents. Bishop Dewane annoints walls with oil. Priests process into the oratory.