Sacred Heart Catholic Church dedicates new campus
By Shelley Smithssmith@salisburypost.com
More than 750 people attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s Dedication Mass Saturday morning, beginning with a procession into the church led by the Most Reverend Peter J. Jurgis, JCD, Bishop of Charlotte.
Jurgis then blessed the waters of the font, and the building, altars and people were sprinkled with the waters. Before the Liturgy of the Word and Gospels were given, the lectionary was presented to the Bishop, as well as the ambo, the table where the Lectionary sits.
Jurgis gave the Homily, which centered around the recently fallen snow.
“The snow reminds us this day of the purity of Jesus, who dwells in this church, who dwells in this property,” Jurgis said. “The beauty of this day reflects the beauty of God.”
The relics of saints Thomas Becket and Barnabus were placed on the altar, which is a marble high altar and more than 75 years old, salvaged from Our Lady Help of Christians in Chicago. The relics were sealed by Jim Brincefield and Kevin Burges.
The altar and 12 locations in the church were then anointed with chrism oil. The altar was anointed in five locations, which symbolizes the five wounds of Christ. The walls symbolize the apostles; the stones, Christians.
Incense was then burned on the altar, filling the church with a rose-scented smoke, which signifies Christ’s sacrifice ascending to the throne of God. The congregation was also incensed through the Thurifer, as they are the living temple and their own spiritual altar.
The four altars, (the Altar of Sacrifice, the High Altar, St. Joseph Altar and Blessed Mother Altar), were then dressed by members of the church.
The altar candles and the 12 dedication crosses were lit from the Paschal Candle, which is the light of Christ and blessed at the Easter Vigil. Floral arrangements were also placed on the altar and around the sanctuary.
The offertory was given and communion followed. The children’s latin choir, children’s choir and adult choir sang various pieces including, “Non Nobis Domine,” meaning “Not to us, Lord, but to your name give glory.”
“It is certainly my hope that what we’ve done here is to the greater glory of God,” Father John Putnam said following communion. “(The choir) was phenomenal as I knew it would be.”
Putnam addressed the hard work of everyone involved in the planning and building of the school, church and cemetery.
“It couldn’t have happened without you,” Putnam said. “It has been a labor of love.”
Tom Weber, chairman of the capital campaign commission, called Saturday “beautiful and glorious.”
“Years of time and energy from parishioners have helped make this a beautiful day,” Weber said. “This is a 100-year old project that is going to serve Sacred Heart, Salisbury and Rowan County for the next 100 years. It’s a huge and major new chapter.”
Jurgis said he was thrilled to help dedicate the new sanctuary and altars.
“It’s been a great blessing to finally be able to celebrate the mass dedication of the church,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day. God is blessing us by sending us a covering of snow. It’s a sign of God’s blessing.”
Chairman of the building committee Mike Vaeth said the mass dedication went smoothly, and that his favorite part of the new church was the high altar.
“It’s really a nice team effort from the parish,” he said.
The church building is in the shape of a cross and totals 12,083 square feet, seating around 760 people. Nine of the 15 stained glass windows are from the original church on North Fulton Street, and the pews were salvaged from Queen of Peace, a Catholic church in Buffalo, N.Y., that has closed.
The church is on top of the highest hill at the end of Lumen Christi Lane.