NORWALK, Conn. -- Members of the Knights of Columbus’s St. Matthew Norwalk Council 14360 were witnesses to the end of a three-year journey of faith and hard work on Sunday, Dec. 20, when they helped rededicate The Shrine Church of Our Lady of Solace Parish in Coney Island, N.Y.
There are many different celebrations of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, but one of the rarest, and one that few see in their lifetimes, is the rededication of a church.
In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy raged across the East Coast wreaking havoc on everything in its path, including the Brooklyn parish.
Floodwaters ruined flooring, warped pews, and destroyed computers in the church's rectory.
With Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio as the celebrant, the church was rededicated in front of a packed church of parishioners who have helped see the recovery process through.
"I am so proud of the parish and the faith their parishioners have, led first by Father Armando (Palmieri) and now by Father Shiju (Chittattukara),” said Council 14360 Grand Knight George Ribellino.
Ribellino praised the priests for “their dedication to their faith” and said it was “an honor for our council to help them on this journey.”
The church’s parishioners were “so warm and make us feel like family every time we visit,” he added.
Many helped to get the process started of rebuilding, including representatives of the K of C Council 14360 and St. Matthew Parish, who went down the Belt Parkway multiple times to deliver supplies and toys.
The church spent years raising funds to repair the damage.
While it was doing so, it continually invited Council members down for special Masses.
However on this day it was more special as it was the church's rededication and reconsecration of the altar.
The Mass included the spreading of holy chrism, or blessed scented oils, across the five crosses on the altar, meant to represent Jesus's five wounds while on the cross, and special prayers.
The Council presented the parish with a new chalice and a letter of best wishes from Bridgeport R.C. Diocese Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano, who is the former auxiliary bishop for the Brooklyn Diocese.
The Council said it was honored to have two special guests dress in Knights regalia on this day: CT District Master Charles Sullivan and his chief of staff, Joe Duplessie.
To cap Sunday’s festivities, the former parachute needle on the Coney Island boardwalk was lighted up with the words "OLS 2015" in honor of the special occasion, and the new chapter of OLS's mission.
To learn more about Knight of Columbus Council 14360, click here.
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