The 169th Fighter Wings new portable altar in action!

I have posted before about the coolest, the ultimate gift for priests eh-vur: the portable altar made by St. Joseph’s Apprentice.  One of my posts about it:  HERE and  HERE

This fine Catholic carpenter who portable altars of wood, rather like a suitcase, with wings that fold out, and having an embedded altar stone.

St. Joseph’s Apprentice

I received this in email and had to share it.

1st Lt. (Fr) Matt Gray celebrates Pentecost with the new portable altar. We have a consecrated altar stone, but still need a relic.  Fr. Gray is a traditional guardsman with the South Carolina Air National Guard  “Swamp Fox” and a resident Priest at St. Gregory the Great Parrish in the Diocese of Charleston.



(I still want to swap my altar or get some of the upgrades I suggested.)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. defreitas says:

    Is the Priest wearing the chasuble back to front, or is it made with the center emblem included at the front? In earlier days this type of gothic chasuble would not have an emblem at the front but only on the back. See how N/O liturgical practices just seem to innocently creep along.

  2. Mark says:

    Can we try to be a little thankful for this wonderful priest rather than knit pick whether or not the emblem is on the front or back?

  3. defreitas says:

    Sorry, just my OCD taking over. “May God Bless the good works of his faithful and beloved Priests, Amen, Amen, Amen!”

  4. gloriamary says:

    This picture makes me happy.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Beautiful altar and happy priest…and the Mrs. of the man who makes these is a TAC graduate….Yeah!

  6. padredana says:

    I wish someone would make these for less money. For most priests, this is way, way out of our price range. I would think someone could make these for considerably less.

    [A few points. 1) Dignus est operarius mercede sua. 2) You give it a try! 3) Market forces are at work. 4) You get what you pay for.]

  7. wanda says:

    This makes me so happy & so hopeful! Thank you for posting, Fr. Z. God bless you Fr. Gray, keep up the good work. You don’t know what joy this brings.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    This is great. God Bless our military chaplains.

  9. Nicholas says:

    Supertradmum, you mentioned the wife of the manufacturer being a TAC graduate. I am a current student. Are you connected with the college?

  10. JustaSinner says:

    Can these be CNC’d from aluminum and titanium? I’m blessed as a metalman, not a woodworker. More Tin Man than St. Joseph. (Per chance he had a brother that was a blacksmith???)

  11. MacBride says:

    My husband and I rescued some old pews out of an old Catholic church(from the 1800’s) that was closing. We cut them to size and shipped them to Rick (St Joseph app.). This gives Fr a discount on the altar…and I think it will be interesting to see what the reclaimed wood looks like in one of these altars. Fr Z..will send you a picture when it arrives.

    @pandredana..Some fund raising or donations from parishioners may help defer the cost. In return, you can maybe do some home Masses. The other option you have is to have someone make an antimensium (aka Greek Corporal) for you. The antimensia in the Latin Rite looks like a regular corporal only there is a pouch in the lower right corner with relics. You would just need two relics from martyrs and permission from your bishop to bless and use it.

  12. RAve says:

    I suggest you donate your altar to the Chaplain of the United States Military Academy at West Point, for the first time ever a Catholic (an alumnus, a good and holy priest, and a OIF/OEF war veteran), and then we can raise money to get you a new one with the specific upgrades/customizations you would like. I will donate the first $20. Then you can go to visit him the next time you fly to New York and deliver it and have an amazing visit to the most beautiful and majestic college campus e-vuhr. You should, of course, go on a home football weekend at peak Fall foliage time, because then you would see the cadets pass in review and then watch a great game in the most beautiful and majestic stadia in the nation. You of course would spend time with the cadets’ very active Knights of Columbus council, and you could also meet the Franciscan Brother whose main ministry is with the cadets, and the FOCUS missionaries who work on campus. I will gladly assist you with organizing the logistics and introductions…

    Here he is on EWTN in his cassock talking about God and Country:

    Here is delivering a most stirring benediction prior to last year’s Army Navy football game:

    [Intriguing…. ]

  13. snoozie says:

    Father, do you have contact information for Fr. Gray?…I have a 1st class relic of a magnificent Martyr I’d like to give to him for the altar stone (if he hasn’t already gotten one). Thanks and God bless.

  14. frgray says:

    Hello and thank you for your most kind offer! I do not have a relic yet and I have run into some difficulties getting one. I am the first priest to serve in the South Carolina air National Guard in 20 years and only the second priest in its history so we have absolutely nothing. I bring everything I use from my Parish to the base for each drill. The Beautiful altar is the first Catholic item we have gotten specifically for use on the base since I commissioned. Before we purchased it I had to offer mass on conference tables and wanted something worthy of the holy sacrifice. If you do have access to a martyrs relic I would be most grateful. If you do not mind contacting my office at 843-815-3100 and letting the receptionist know who you are she will give you my contact information. Thank you again for your kind offer! God bless, Father Gray

  15. snoozie says:

    Will call on Monday….you will LOVE this Martyr; he is most appropriate to your mission. God bless you also.

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