For your Brick By Brick file.
More great news from the Extraordinary Ordinary of Madison, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C Morlino.
This comes by way of the liberal (for Madison a tautology), secular newspaper the WSJ. My emphases and comments.
At area Catholic churches, the tabernacle, ‘Christ’s dwelling place,’ moves to center stage
ASHTON — Like centuries of Catholic priests before him, the Rev. Tait Schroeder consecrated the communion bread at a midday Mass last week, turning it into what the denomination’s faithful believe is the actual body of Jesus Christ.
After offering the sacramental bread — referred to as the Eucharistic host — to parishioners, Schroeder walked the unused portion to an ornate, safe-like box behind him at the front of the sanctuary.
In this secure shrine, called a tabernacle, the host would dwell until needed for the next Mass, available all the while for the faithful to pray before it or for Schroeder to take it to home-bound parishioners.
As Christians around the world mark the birth of Christ in Bethlehem this Christmas season, many Madison-area Catholics are learning more about the profound role of the tabernacle in their parishes. [It’s true, but it is amazing to have to read a sentence like that.] Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino has directed priests to move the tabernacle to a prominent spot at the center of the sanctuary at all diocesan churches. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
The directive was announced at an annual gathering of priests in September and could affect about half of the 134 worship sites in the diocese, although no exact count is available, said Patrick Gorman, director of the diocesan office of worship, which coordinates liturgical matters for the bishop and will be leading the effort. At these churches, the tabernacle may be off to one side of the sanctuary or in a separate side chapel altogether.
Because church law requires that a tabernacle be immovable and made of solid material, the directive will require some cost and effort at some parishes, Gorman said. The bishop is giving priests three years to accomplish the goal, until October 2018. [I would have given 3 months, but… hey! He has the 10K foot view.]
Gorman said the bishop’s intent is to place more emphasis and reverence on the Lord’s presence at the Eucharist, the term used by Roman Catholics for communion.
“This isn’t just another piece of furniture in the sanctuary,” Gorman said. “It is housing the living God.”
Morlino had been moving in this direction for a decade or more, encouraging priests in general to relocate tabernacles and requiring it during parish renovation projects, Gorman said.
St. Peter Catholic Church, where Schroeder is priest, is an example of what Morlino considers an ideal placement of a tabernacle, according to the diocese. The neo-gothic church, constructed in 1901, is in Ashton, an unincorporated Dane County community northwest of Middleton.
The tabernacle is at the central axis of the church, right behind the communion table and part of a soaring, decorative high altar that includes an array of statues and religious iconography.
“It really is the focal point,” Schroeder said of the tabernacle. “It draws our hearts and minds to Christ and to our belief that he is really present with us.”
Schroeder said the tabernacle at St. Peter had moved around some over the decades, residing for a time off to the side of the sanctuary. His predecessor moved it back to its current, original spot.
Read the rest there.
You might be surprised that the piece does not include the usual naysayers with a contradictory message. Then there is the horrid combox.