Have you ever seen the dedication of a new altar? If not, watch this! This is the dedication of the new altar at Saint Mary on the Lake parish in Manitou Beach presided over by Bishop Boyea, Sunday, March 19.
"When I came here in 2018 the parishioners had already raised money to beautify the sanctuary but there was no definite plans and, so, we are grateful that the providence of God has since provided the right people to create a vision and make it happen," said pastor, Father Todd Koenigsknecht.
"So I think for the parishioners who have donated and raise money for this, today is a day of gladness, a day of joy, that what we were raising money for, what we were hoping for, what we were praying for, has finally to come to fruition."
The altar was crafted by Hudson-base carpenter, Christopher Malarney, who works in collaboration with his mother, Joyce. They are parishioners at Father Koenigsknecht's other parish, Sacred Heart in Hudson. The front of the altar bears the motif Ecce Agnus Dei or "Behold, the Lamb of God".
Reproduced below is Father Koenigsknecht's words of introduction included in the Order of Service. He wrote:
St Mary on the Lake has a rich history serving our community—be it those who visit for a few weekends each summer to those for whom this is home. I am so grateful to all those who have been a part of this beautification project. On this day of their dedication I want to highlight two important aspects of our new Altar, Ambo, and attendant furnishings—their beauty and solidity.
The importance of its noble beauty first. The sanctuary of a Catholic Church is the meeting place of Heaven and Earth. Beauty is something that always points us to God—it requires no words. Entering a Church then should be like entering Heaven. With no words required it sweeps us up into God Himself. It conveys hope, comfort, courage, strength, mercy, and grace. It should be a place where we literally find sanctuary in the heart of God. As a priest I love having a Church that is beautiful because it will often preach far better than I can!
The second aspect is its solidity. Jesus told the disciples, “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” He is always with us. The new altar has that element of solidity and permanence. Amid life’s many changes here is our rock, our anchor. The Altar shouts the truth that He isn’t going anywhere! From it we are given food for the journey so we can keep moving no matter what comes our way.
May our sanctuary be a place of sanctuary for those who come through our doors, a meeting place with the Lord, a reminder that He is always with us, a place of beauty that points to our Heavenly Father.