Bp. Jenky (D. Peoria): tabernacle must be in center of all churches in five years

I thought you would like to know about a positive development in the Diocese of Peoria.

My emphases and comments:


Directive on location of tabernacles from Bishop Jenky

Saying that placing the Blessed Sacrament at the physical center of the church puts Christ at the center of our spiritual lives as well, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, is asking that the tabernacle be located “in the direct center at the back of the sanctuary” in all churches and chapels in the Diocese of Peoria.

The bishop’s letter was issued on Holy Thursday, the day when Catholics around the world gather for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and celebrate the institution of the Eucharist.

"A gift in the bishop’s letter is that he is giving people five years,” said Msgr. Stanley Deptula, director of the diocesan Office of Divine Worship. “Some of those parishes, for architectural, financial and catechetical reasons, will need to take some time to revisit the Eucharist. . . . They have five years to pray over this moment of renewal.”  [I would give them a year.]

Following is the full text of Bishop Jenky’s directive:


April 1, 2010
+Holy Thursday

Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and Faithful of the Diocese of Peoria,

The Mass, of course, is our most important act of worship [More and more I am preferring to speak and write of "worship" rather than "liturgy".] — the very source and summit of all we do as a Church. A profound reverence for the Reserved Sacrament is also intrinsically related to the Eucharistic liturgy.

The Reserved Sacrament must therefore be treated with the greatest possible respect, because at all times the Blessed Sacrament within that tabernacle, as in the Eucharistic Liturgy, is to be given that worship called latria, which is the adoration given to Almighty God. This intentional honor is incomparably greater than the reverence we give to sacramentals, sacred images, the Baptistry, the Holy Oils, or the Paschal Candle. [Hey liberal liturgists! Pay attention!] The Sacrament is reserved not only so that the Eucharist can be brought to the dying and to those unable to attend Mass, but also as the heart and locus of a parish’s prayer and devotion. [D’ya ‘spose Richard McBrien will drop a line to Bp. Jenky about how backward it is to adore the Blessed Sacrament?]

There is a kind of bundle of rituals in our Catholic tradition with which we surround the Tabernacle. As we enter or leave the church, we bless ourselves with holy water, we genuflect towards the Tabernacle, [And if at that moment, then why not reception of Communion?] we prepare for Mass or give thanks after Mass, consciously in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament. At prayers and devotions, during the Liturgy of the Hours, in any private prayer which takes place in a Catholic Church, we truly pray before the Risen Christ substantially and really present in the Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle.

These core Catholic convictions and their architectural ramifications have recently been reaffirmed by many Bishops in the United States. As bishop of this Diocese, I am also convinced that where we place the Tabernacle — and how we ritually reverence the Reserved Sacrament — is as important for the continuing Eucharistic catechesis as is all our preaching and teaching. With Jesus truly present in the Blessed Sacrament at the physical center of our places of worship, how can He not also more firmly become the center of our spiritual lives as well?

After consultation with my Presbyteral Council, I am therefore asking that those few parish churches and chapels where the tabernacle is not in the direct center at the back of the sanctuary, that these spaces be redesigned in such a way that the Reserved Sacrament would be placed at the center. In some cases, this change can be easily achieved, but given financial and design restraints, plans for redesign may be submitted to the Office of Divine Worship at any time during the next five years. Monastic communities whose chapels are open to the faithful as semi-public oratories may also request a dispensation from this general regulation according to the norms of their particular liturgical tradition. There may also be some very tiny chapels where a change could be impossible. These requests should be submitted in writing to my office.

I would also like to remind everyone in our Diocese that at Mass, in accord with the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the Tabernacle should only be reverenced at the beginning and end of the liturgy or when the Sacrament is being taken from or returned to the Tabernacle. At all other moments and movements in the liturgy it is the Altar of Sacrifice that is to be reverenced.  [I don’t especially like that.  It is wrong-headed, in my opinion. But it is, sadly, the law.]

It is my conviction that Eucharistic Liturgy and Eucharistic devotion are never in competition but rather inform and strengthen our shared worship and reverence. May all in our Diocese grow in greater love and appreciation of the gift of the Eucharist.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C.

WDTPRS Kudos to Bp. Jenky.

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  1. shellac says:

    Good news indeed. :-)

  2. FrCharles says:

    I would be interested in a post and attendant discussion on the question of “liturgy” vs. “worship.”

  3. medievalist says:

    And, since he consulted his presbyteral council, this is clearly a “pastoral” move in the “spirit” of Vatican II, thus rendering void any complaints about “turning back the clock”. I love strategically minded bishops.

  4. Matthew in Vancouver says:

    In Vancouver, I believe our pastors have been given a deadline of roughly one year to make the move.

  5. robtbrown says:

    My guess is that some pastors will put it in the middle ASAP. That will plant a few seeds.

    I would also like to remind everyone in our Diocese that at Mass, in accord with the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the Tabernacle should only be reverenced at the beginning and end of the liturgy or when the Sacrament is being taken from or returned to the Tabernacle. At all other moments and movements in the liturgy it is the Altar of Sacrifice that is to be reverenced. [I don’t especially like that. It is wrong-headed, in my opinion. But it is, sadly, the law.]

    It is a consequence of versus populum celebration. Take out the picnic table, have the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar of Sacrifice, and the problem is solved.

  6. irishgirl says:

    Hey, that’s good news! Way to go, Bishop Jenky!

  7. TNCath says:

    A priest, now deceased, once told his parishioners, “The farther away we get from the Blessed Sacrament, the worse off we are.” This same priest, several years later when attending the re-dedication of the “renovated” (wreckovated) cathedral in our diocese remarked after the ceremony, “The eviction of the Blessed Sacrament from the cathedral occurred with great dignity.”

    How true his words were, especially in light of the scandals that we have experienced the past 40 years! Bishop Jenky’s restoration of the Blessed Sacrament to the center of his parish churches is certainly a positive move towards a closer union with God, which is something we certainly need both individually and as a Church.

  8. SonofMonica says:

    I have made it a practice of personally contacting and thanking bishops whenever they do something worthy of praise, either by letter or Facebook. This bishop is on Facebook, you can find him by searching for Daniel Jenky. Just become a fan, and you can drop him a note of encouragement. Encouraging our bishops when they do something faithful is a way (besides constant, fervent prayer) that we can be involved in what God is doing. And God is doing GREAT things right now!

  9. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    “As we enter or leave the church, we bless ourselves with holy water, we genuflect towards the Tabernacle,”

    Sadly many Catholics don’t even realize this any more. Its a pet peeve of mine that people genuflect when there is no tabernacle, or in a direction completely opposite of where the tabernacle is (usually towards the central altar rather than the tabernacle in the corner)

  10. Deo Gratias…Deo Gratias…I follow the priest, if the priest genuflects in the middle of Mass, so I (if we’re side by side) otherwise I genuflect to the Tabernacle at all points.

  11. Sleepyhead says:

    Recently at my church, the Tabernacle was restored to the centre. But I notice people’s behaviour hasn’t changed to respect the Blessed Sacrament being in the sanctuary. After a Mass, the altar servers ‘fool about’ and young children run around in the sanctuary. I guess that behaviour went unchecked when the Blessed Sacrament was moved away from the centre. So, physical changes need changes in attitude and behaviour as well.

  12. wanda says:

    Thanks be to God. A few years back this change was made in our Church. There was only a momentary ‘huh?’. Immediately, once done, loved by all. Sadly, the young Priest who made the change has moved on, but we are so grateful for him and for putting the Tabernacle in the center of the Sanctuary.

    Another change this young Priest made, a little more painful, was to change our Crucifix from a smallish one with the resurrected Christ to a large, commanding one with the crucified Christ. (The smaller crucifix has been kept and hangs in another area out of the main body of the church.)

  13. shellac says:

    “We recall the promise of the Second Vatican Council for a renaissance of the roles and responsibilities of all the Baptized through a radically inclusive and engaged relationship between the Church and the World. We respond to the Spirit of Vatican II by summoning the Baptized together to demonstrate our re-commitment.”American Catholic Council

    LOL I don’t think what the BISHOP OF PEORIA did saying that “placing the Blessed Sacrament at the physical center of the church puts Christ at the center of our spiritual lives as well.” is what the “American Catholic Council’ has in mind.

    However for me our good Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C. is truly responding to the Spirit of Vatican II by summoning the Baptized together to demonstrate our re-commitment to Jesus Christ. :-)

    Can I get an Amen??

  14. TJerome says:

    Great letter. By the way,Bishop Jenky would probably toss into “file 13” anything McBrien would send him. He knows him.

  15. beez says:

    Honestly, I am torn on this issue. I appreciate having the tabernacle of repose in a prominent position in the presbyterium, but I would prefer it not in the exact center, but rather to the side. Why?

    Well, traditionally (and by traditionally, I refer to the period from around the mid-6th century until the Council of Trent) the tabernacle was off to the side to allow the three-fold nature of Christ’s priesthood to be clearer in the sacrifice of the Mass:

    1) Priest – Christ offer of himself, once perfectly for all, is represented on the table of sacrifice, the Altar.
    2) Prophet – Christ, as the eternal Word, is proclaimed from the Ambo.
    3) King – Christ, as the head of the Church is represented in the ordained clergy (presbyter or bishop) in the throne – the chair where he acts in persona Christi capitus.

    Because of the placement of the tabernacle immediately behind the Altar of Sacrifice (regardless of if the Mass is offered versus populi, ad orientem or (as I personally prefer) a combination of the two which offers another type of separation in the minds of the faithful between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (Word being v.p. and Eucharist being a.o.)) is awkward. The fact is that, during the Mass, the tabernacle is of secondary importance, whether some people like it or not, because the Mass is a re-presentation of the sacrifice on Calvary so the focus should be on the Altar.

    However, when the tabernacle is immediately behind the Altar, the situation is, as mentioned above, awkward, as the priest, deacon and lay ministers (altar servers, etc.) are to essentially ignore the tabernacle, wherein our Lord’s Real Presence resides, in favor of the more pressing fact of this re-presented gift on the Altar.

    Therefore, having been from the “put it in the center” camp, I have moved to the “in the presbyterium, away from the center” camp.

  16. The Egyptian says:

    so where exactly is the center of the sanctuary in the proposed new larva church shown the previous post, could be interesting in some of the radical progressive blobs built in the last decade, may the screeching begin ;D

  17. Jayna says:

    I wish our archbishop would issue such a directive. The rule is already there as he drew up a list of architectural norms years ago, but it’s never been enforced. The vast majority of new churches being built are absolutely gorgeous, everything is where it should be and they’re made of more than just wood and rough stone (marble finally seems to be making a comeback). It’s the old ones that were built in the 70s and 80s that need help. Our tabernacle is in the chapel, which is located at the back of the church. I think my pastor wants to put one in the main church, but he has to find the money first. He isn’t allowed to take funds out of the operating budget to make these improvements, so has to rely on willing donors.

    Wanda: If it hadn’t been for you saying that the priest had already moved on, I would swear we were in the same parish. That is exactly what happened in my parish about six months ago. The old one was this gaudy gold (painted gold, that is) “resurrection crucifix” thing that was maybe three feet tall, and our pastor replaced it with a massive crucifix that’s over eight feet tall and hangs directly over the altar. The old one now hangs in the vestibule.

  18. Rob Cartusciello says:

    But Father! But Father! Don’t you know that putting the Tabernacle in the center is going to distract the congregation from the celebration of the Mass at the altar. So does the “old” high altar.


  19. Apologies if this is too enormous a “comment”, but I think Ven. Pope Pius XII’s words from 1956 on the altar and the tabernacle are relevant here. (This is from AAS 48, and the excerpt below is on pages 721-723 (originally in French).

    To these considerations We must add some remarks concerning the tabernacle. Just as We said above: “The Lord is somehow greater than the altar and the sacrifice,” so now We might say: “Is the tabernacle, where dwells the Lord Who has come down amongst His people, greater than altar and sacrifice?” The altar is more important than the tabernacle, because on it is offered the Lord’s sacrifice. [NOTE: The preceding sentence gets quoted out of context often.] No doubt the tabernacle holds the “Sacramentum permanens”; but it is not an “altare permanens,” for the Lord offers Himself in sacrifice only on the altar during the celebration of Holy Mass, not after or outside the Mass.

    In the tabernacle, on the other hand, He is present as long as the consecrated species last, yet is not making a permanent sacrificial offering.

    One has a perfect right to distinguish between the offering or the sacrifice of the Mass and the “cultus latreuticus” offered to the God-Man hidden in the Eucharist. A decision of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, dated July 7, 1927, severely limits exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during Mass. But this is easily explained by a concern to keep habitually separate the act of sacrifice and the worship of simple adoration, in order that the faithful may clearly understand the characteristics proper to each.

    Still an awareness of their unity is more important than a realization of their differences. It is one and the same Lord Who is immolated on the altar and honored in the tabernacle, and Who pours out His blessings from the tabernacle.

    A person who was thoroughly convinced of this would avoid many difficulties. He would be wary of exaggerating the significance of one to the detriment of the other, and of opposing decisions of the Holy See.

    The Council of Trent has explained the disposition of soul required concerning the Blessed Sacrament: “If anyone says that Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist with the worship of latria, including the external worship, and that the sacrament, therefore, is not to be honored with extraordinary festive celebrations nor solemnly carried from place to place in processions according to the praiseworthy universal rite and custom of the holy Church: or that the sacrament is not to be publicly exposed for the people’s adoration, and that those who adore it are idolators: let him be anathema.”

    “If anyone says that it is not permissible to keep the sacred Eucharist in a holy place, but that it must necessarily be distributed immediately after the consecration to those who are present; or that it is not permissible to carry the Eucharist respectfully to the sick: let him be anathema.”

    [NB:] He who clings wholeheartedly to this teaching has no thought of formulating objections against the presence of the tabernacle on the altar.

    In the instruction of the Holy Office, “De arte sacra,” of June 30, 1952, the Holy See insists, among other things, on this point: “This Supreme Sacred Congregation strictly commands that the prescriptions of Canons 1268, #2, and 1269 #1, be faithfully observed: ‘The Most Blessed Eucharist should be kept in the most distinguished and honorable place in the church, and hence as a rule at the main altar unless some other be considered more convenient and suitable for veneration and worship due to so great a Sacrament…The Most Blessed Sacrament must be kept in an immovable tabernacle set in the middle of the altar.’”

    There is question, not so much of the material presence of the tabernacle on the altar, as of a tendency to which We would like to call your attention, that of a lessening of esteem for the presence and action of Christ in the tabernacle. The sacrifice of the altar is held sufficient, and the importance of Him who accomplishes it is reduced.

    Yet the person of our Lord must hold the central place in worship, for it is His person that unifies the relations of the altar and the tabernacle and gives them their meaning.

    It is through the sacrifice of the altar, first of all, that the Lord becomes present in the Eucharist, and He is in the tabernacle only as a “memoria sacrificii et passionis suae.”

    [NB:] To separate tabernacle from altar is to separate two things which by their origin and their nature should remain united.

    Specialists will offer various opinions for solving the problem of so placing the tabernacle on the altar as not to impede the celebration of Mass when the priest is facing the congregation. The essential point is to understand that it is the same Lord present on the altar and in the tabernacle.

    One might also stress the attitude of the Church regarding certain pious practices: visits to the Blessed Sacrament, which she earnestly recommends, the Forty Hours devotion or “perpetual adoration,” the holy hour, the solemn carrying of Holy Communion to the sick, processions of the Blessed Sacrament. The most enthusiastic and convinced liturgist must be able to understand and appreciate what our Lord in the tabernacle means to the solidly pious faithful, be they unlearned or educated. He is their counselor, their consoler, their strength and refuge, their hope in life and in death.

    Not satisfied simply with letting the faithful come to their Lord in the tabernacle, the liturgical movement, then, will strive to draw them even more.

  20. Andy Milam says:

    Bravo Bishop Jenky, Bravo!!!!

  21. wanda says:

    Hi Jayna, Sounds like we have very similar parishes. Our smaller crucifix was not gold, however. The changes made a wonderful difference in our Church. Blessings!

  22. chihiro says:

    How about cathedrals or churches such as the Basillica of the National Shrine of Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.? It has an entire chapel, just off to the side of the main altar, devoted to the tabernacle. I always found that to be a very solemn and prayerful place to worship. And I’m guessing it was designed and built this way far before Vatican II.

    Maybe cathedrals et al. are separate cases from local parish churches.

  23. PeterK says:

    almost 20 years ago the priest who would baptize my son and I walked into my parish church so that he could get the lay of the land. This particular church was one of the last built in the traditional style. The first question he asked as we entered was “where is the tabernacle?” all that we could see were the Vatican II altar with a butterfly adorned altar cloth. When we met the deacon the same question was asked. the answer given was “oh! it’s over there behind the screen.” The priest and I looked at each other and shook our heads.

  24. JosephMary says:

    This is good news and this is what is occurring all over when parishes are restored.

    I have seen all sorts of abuses with where the Real Presence is kept from down the hall in a little room to in a breezeway in what looked like a bread box (sort of apropos). I have been in worship spaces and asked people where the tabernacle was and they did not know! But that is happening less and less.

    In my former parish, the glass tabernacle was off to the side and a main door actually had people pass in front of it but there were essentially no genuflections. Nor would the tabernacle be decorated when the church was! Some little pixies would change that when no one was looking.

    Our church, thankfully, had the tabernacle front and center and on the unused ‘high altar’. There is a big vigil light above it; can’t miss it. People genuflect.

  25. catholicmidwest says:

    I’d give them 1 year tops.

    Giving them 5 years is telling them they can do whatever they want for 4 years and then giving them a year to fix it at the end.

  26. Hans says:


    This will solve one of the problems in my home parish (where my mom still lives), which was one of the first to ‘get rid’ of its high altar back about 1970 or so.

  27. Mike says:

    In my school chapel we have icons of angels covering the Tabernacle during Mass; before and after Mass they are open, so during Mass it’s not like we are ignoring our Lord. A simple nod to the icons, or if during Mass itself, a slight bow to the altar.

  28. Terentia says:

    Hopefully, the good Bishop will still be in same diocese in 5 years. When Bishop Carlson came to the Saginaw diocese, he gave the parishes until Advent 2009 to restore kneelers. The churches that still had kneelers were to resume kneeling for the consecration immediately. Apparently, some priests objected, so the “immediate” kneeling was never enforced. Then, before Advent 2009, Bishop Carson was transferred and so his instructions were ignored. My parents’ parish spent over a million dollars renovating in 2008 and still did not restore the kneelers.

  29. mom2six says:

    I live in the Peoria Diocese. I, too, hope Bishop Jenky remains here. He is a faith-filled, wonderful Bishop. Bishop Jenky introduced the pilgrimage to various churches on Holy Thursday. He also began a Catholic men’s march which is held each May. He celebrates a Red Mass and a White Mass every year for people employed in the health care field and the judicial field…and also a Diocesan Scout Mass for children and adults involved in both Boy and Girl Scouting. These are just some of the “new” events he has brought to our Diocese. Bishop Jenky also opened the cause for the canonization of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. The Peoria Diocese has been very blessed to have devout Bishops and priests as evidenced by its high number of seminarians.

  30. Maltese says:

    *the Tabernacle should only be reverenced at the beginning and end of the liturgy or when the Sacrament is being taken from or returned to the Tabernacle. At all other moments and movements in the liturgy it is the Altar of Sacrifice that is to be reverenced. [I don’t especially like that. It is wrong-headed, in my opinion. But it is, sadly, the law.]*

    The Tabernacle and the Altar used to be one, now, like rob, supra, said, they’ve hidden the Weaklandesque wreckovators have hidden the Tabernacle, and placed a happy-meal table for the priest-performer to conduct his show versus populum.

    But, again, the issue is deeper than orientation and confluence of Tabernacle and altar. It is one of liturgy, because how we worship informs how we believe. The most profound Novus Ordo ever said in the greatest Cathedral known to man still pales to the humble missionary priest in the remotest part of Africa saying the Vetus Ordo under only the wind and sky over his head; remember, the great Cathedrals were built for the liturgy (which took hundreds of years to “build”) and not vice versa.

  31. Laurinda1230 says:

    Bishop Sheen was from Peoria! He would be pleased.

  32. Vincentius says:

    “Liberal Liturgists”? why the oxymoron- how about Re-Riters?

  33. Geoffrey says:

    Brick-by-brick… the winds of change are blowing… the “new springtime of the Church” is almost here!

  34. Maltese says:

    Geoffrey: don’t be too happy-clappy; I think we’re in for the biggest challenge and fight, Church-wise, that we’ve ever seen. Remember, it’s only a very, very tiny minority of the Church that even believes in all of the most basic tenants of the Church, never mind the world at large. I would say, as a gustiment, maybe three million Catholic souls really GET Benedict’s program (yes, FSSPX included.) The rest live their hum-drum contracepting, aborting lives thinking everything is peachy-keen, and just because Pelosi says it’s so, it is so.

  35. deborah-anne says:

    This is good news. May God bless Bishop Jenky.

  36. Geoffrey says:

    I am not “happy-clappy”, but I am very much an optimist. It seems to me that many traditionalists are often “the glass is half empty”. It is so very depressing. Christ is Risen! Christ has conquered! Why be depressed?

    P.S. I don’t think the SSPX REALLY get the Holy Father’s “program”… if they did, they’d be back in the fold by now!

  37. david andrew says:

    I read this response over here: http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2010/04/06/bishop-jenky-of-peoria-on-tabernacle-placement/

    I should point out that the “praytell” blog primarily belongs to Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB, of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville. There are other notable contributors.

    Here’s what one poster wrote:

    Bishop Jenky’s statement at the end of his note, “[i]t is my conviction that Eucharistic Liturgy and Eucharistic devotion are never in competition but rather inform and strengthen our shared worship and reverence” is patently untrue. Wherever orthodoxy and orthopraxis have been measured by fidelity to Eucharistic devotion rather than “full, conscious and active participation” in the sacred liturgy, the two have been in competition. The theology that is invoked in this move to re-locate tabernacles that have been placed in worthy chapels is undoubtedly well-intentioned, but confused at best (and unorthodox at worst.) The requirement that such re-location take place is pastorally irresponsible and indefensible. These bishops are finding their own personal pieties affirmed by the personal piety of other bishops, and imposing them on their local churches — in spite of a wider latitude guaranteed by the universal church. Oh, yes, I know that it’s in their episcopal prerogative to do so, but prerogative alone cannot justify the derogation of liturgy to a pious act coram sanctissimo while creating unnecessary financial burdens on any parish community.

    In fairness, it should be pointed out that the poster is an Episcopalian/Anglican priest (who received training at St. John’s School of Theology). As an Episcopalian, he really has no dog in this fight. Besides, “orthodoxy” is a moving target for Episcopalians, meaning whatever they want it to mean when they want it to mean that particular thing . . . until it doesn’t.

    Nevertheless, it shows just how deeply and broadly the dissidents have spread their poison.

  38. catholicmidwest says:

    YOu asked “why be depressed?” I’m not depressed; I’m annoyed because we have to put up with happy-clappy progressives who act like they’re slightly demented.

  39. Jayna says:

    David: Wow, what got that commenter all hot and bothered? Them’s fightin’ words if I ever saw any. Especially for someone to whom this directive does not even apply.

  40. catholicmidwest says:


    It’s a general comment that always applies: I’m annoyed because we have to put up with happy-clappy progressives who act like they’re slightly demented.

    From a logical point of view, this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone except those for whom the shoe fits. I have no idea at this point who, if anyone from this thread, is one of those.

    BTW, scratch “slightly demented” in favor of “significantly demented.”

  41. Alice says:

    As a person living in the Diocese of Peoria, I can understand why Bishop Jenky feels the need to allow 5 years to implement this. I live near 4 churches that are going to have to come up with a plan to move the tabernacle front and center. The church where I grew up and my current church will both have to raise funds for renovations, which won’t be easy since the one is losing parishioners for demographic reasons and the other just finished a large building project, which included a Perpetual Adoration Chapel. The other two parishes will have an easier time, but they just haven’t done it yet for whatever reason. That said, these 4 churches are a minority in this diocese. Over the past 15 years, I have watched one church after another return to the traditional placement of the Blessed Sacrament. It’s wonderful.

  42. joan ellen says:

    Thanks be to God for Bishop Jenky. If God is our center, He should be in the center of the church. I never felt the Tabernacle in the center took away from the Holy Sacrifice.

    Our Lord in the Tabernacle used to occupy the Sanctuary alone, or with His priest. Will lay Eucharistic ministers who occupy behind the Altar take away from the reverence due Our Lord’s Divinity and Majesty in the Tabernacle? Should Bishop Jenky ask that lay Eucharistic ministers occupy only in the front of the Altar?

  43. Hans says:

    Alice wrote:

    Over the past 15 years, I have watched one church after another return to the traditional placement of the Blessed Sacrament. It’s wonderful.

    That’s good news. My home parish church in the western part of the diocese was renovated about 16 years ago due to a highway expansion (which is another story), and there was an argument then about the placement of the Tabernacle, which ended up off center. My vague second-hand memory is that the (non-Catholic) architect led the charge for the placement that eventually took place.

  44. mfg says:

    5 years? Subdivisions are planned, financed, constructed, sold and resold and resold in 5 years. Empires appear and disappear in 5 years. The Catholic Church has changed in so many ways but one of the ways that hits people in the pews between the eyes is the attitude of its leaders. In the early 70s on a Sunday like any other Sunday we were told, …next Sunday when you come to Mass just line up in the center aisle for Communion, hold your hands like so, and say Amen. The altar rail will be gone… In other words our feelings (the feelings of the laity) were not considered. I would give them a month (4 weeks) at most to get that Tabernacle back where it belongs. Christ’s public life was 3 years for goodness sake. Having said that, good for Bishop Jenky for taking some action.

  45. David Volk says:

    Please pray for Bishop Jenky. He, along with his predecessor, approve and defend an accommodation for the local “Catholic” hospital system,
    OSF St. Francis, allowing employee physicians to prescribe oral contraceptives on company time, from OSF facilities.

  46. Aaron says:

    I agree that five years is too much; I’d give them a month, and if it required major structural changes at a particular parish, give that parish an extension.

    In any case, I hope when we get our new bishop, he will do the same. I went to a funeral last week in a church where the tabernacle was nowhere to be seen. I had been warned that the tabernacle was tucked away in some anteroom in the back, but I didn’t know in which direction, so I just genuflected and asked God to be understanding.

  47. bookworm says:

    I used to live in the Peoria Diocese and I applaud Bp. Jenky for doing this. I personally think moving the tabernacle away from front and center did more to erode respect for the Real Presence than even guitar Masses and altar girls ever did.

    This is a story I heard years ago, concerning a parish I used to belong to. This parish built a new church in the late 60s or early 70s, and it is very concrete and modernistic and all the things we love to hate, but one good thing it did have was a prominent tabernacle front and center. Supposedly, the bishop of Peoria at the time the church was built, Bp. John B. Franz, was given the architectural plans for his approval and noticed that the tabernacle was going to be off to the side… but he insisted that the plan be changed, because as long as he was bishop, the Body of Christ was going to have its rightful place in all churches!

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