In our collaborative, Fr. Jim Morris, Fr. Fabio Garzon, and Fr. Daniel Rodriguez serve St. Basil Church in South Haven, St. Peter Church in Douglas, and San Felipe de Jesus in Fennville.
The Collaborative Plan was developed by the Diocese of Kalamazoo to better distribute available priests to ensure that all parishes receive necessary pastoral and sacramental care.
This is my first opportunity to tell you about the new crucifix you’ve probably noticed in the church. Though I agree with the architect/liturgical consultant for the Restore the Glory project that the image of Christ crucified in the stained glass window doesn’t need to be duplicated with another cross, one still expects a large crucifix to be hanging in the sanctuary of a Catholic church, and many people wondered about not having one. At the evening Masses during the dark of winter, the image in the window doesn’t show very well. Also, anyone using our adoration area behind the wood dividers, desiring to prayerfully focus on a cross, would have to look up at a steep and uncomfortable angle to see the window image.
I thank Denny Olson and Charlie Hamlin not only for their efforts to procure, finish, and hang the new crucifix in the sanctuary but also for mounting our former one in the stairwell in the South Lobby—not an easy task!
The corpus (image of Christ’s body) on the new crucifix was made by the Demetz Ecclesiastical Art Studio and imported from the Italian Alps. The wood of the cross has a much more local history. Over thirty-five years ago a walnut tree was cut down which grew on what locals know as Doctor’s Row (77th St.) in South Haven. It was taken to Joe Clark’s steam-powered sawmill in Lacota, cut into boards and then kiln-dried at Everett Piano Company. Little did anyone know that one day this wood would adorn our church to remind us of God’s great love for his human creatures. Charlie and Denny were both involved in designing the crucifix for the space it occupies. Denny used his impressive wood-working skills to make the cross itself. On another piece of wood fastened at the back of the cross Denny inscribed the following words from a hymn:
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world adore His sacred Name!
We used the crucifix for the first time on Good Friday. Because the blessing of a crucifix is not permitted during the Easter Triduum, a short blessing service will be held prior to the 5:00 Mass on April 14.
July 19, 2016
Our church was rededicated with Bishop Bradley presiding, Fr. Jim and Fr. Bob concelebrating, and Deacon John Lohrstorfer and Deacon Bill VanDril participating. Fathers John Peter Ambrose and Father Joseph Xavier also attended this holy and sacred liturgy.
To view photos of the ceremony, click here.