Reflecting Heaven Part 27

10-24-2021Reflecting HeavenFr. Don Kline, V.F.

“My house shall be a house of prayer, says the Lord: in that house, everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” - Mt 21:13; Lk 11:10

Today, our hearts are gladdened as we celebrate the reopening of the St. Bernadette Catholic Church of the Diocese of Phoenix in Scottsdale, Arizona. The completed beautification process of this magnificent House of God would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors – laity and clergy – from our parish.

We are most grateful to the many skilled craftsmen brought together by B. Gunar Gruenke of Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc. with guidance from the Holy Spirit, as well as parish and diocesan employees and volunteers who labored diligently and with such dedication; giving of their time and talents to make this day possible.Your efforts have brought forth a truly glorious achievement that will be appreciated for generations to come. We recognize parishioners and all local worshipers for their patience while the parish church building closed its doors for more than five months so that the restoration work could continue safely and uninterrupted. Your anticipation has been rewarded.

Special thanks to Thomas J. Olmsted and Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares, Bishop and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix for your presence among us as the presiders for our various liturgies. We gratefully acknowledge the many priests, deacons, religious and seminarians who have prayed with and for us over the past year. Our celebrations are always beautifully enhanced and our prayer deepened by the voices of our choirs, assembled all for the glory of God.

We always appreciate the presence of our wonderful teachers and students from St. John XXIII at Holy Mass. Your reverence and your joy reminds us all of the Gospel passage from Our Lord who loving says: “Let the children come to me.” Your prayers and willingness to sacrifice your lunch room so we could offer Holy Mass uninterrupted in St. Bernadette Hall was a blessing to our parish.

Finally, we are grateful for one another as participants together in this wonderful moment in our parish history. May this day be an inspiration for all of us to tell others of this great work and to continue the praise of God in our hearts with resolution to return again and again to this magnificent House of Prayer. I believe that Catholics and non-Catholics alike have and will continue to identify this building as the center of our community and the spiritual home of all.

For well over a 25 years, the St. Bernadette Catholic Church has been home to thousands of people. The story of the our parish exemplifies the history of our diocesan church. It represents and speaks to the story of the people within that church, offering a narrative that has been written by the hands of laborers, artisans and donors whose industry and generosity ensured the creation of this wonderful structure. Our parish embodies the history of our Church and exemplifies the history of the people of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. Since it was first consecrated, the generosity of generations of the faithful has guaranteed the future of our Mother Church. We are truly its guardians.

From this building:

  • The faithful people of God receive the Sacraments and Christ Himself, especially in the Most Blessed Sacrament at Holy Mass;
  • People are welcomed into the Church in the Sacrament of Baptism; reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Confession; sealed in the faith through the Sacrament of Confirmation; couples pledge their love through their vows in the Sacrament of Marriage; vocations to the priesthood are born and nourished; the sick and suffering are prayed for and receive the anointing of the sick; and,
  • We gather as God’s children to celebrate the love of God and many important events that speak to our union in the Mystical Body of Christ.

Today, we open wide the doors and invite all to enter. You will soon see other changes here at St. Bernadette. This will include the portrait of the Holy Family, 14 more stained glass windows, a gift shop and our brand new organ! Plans are in the making for special series offered throughout the year — First Friday Adoration and Benediction, music, prayer, and continued daily opportunities for confession — that will attract people of all ages to participate with our parish community. St. Bernadette is hoping to extend its hours during the day so people have more time to pray and reflect.

I am most grateful for the prayers, generosity and hard work that have been offered to preserve and renovate our treasured home for future generations. May all who enter always find here a warm welcome, a loving home and come to know more deeply the love of God.

Listen graciously to the prayers of this family, who rededicate this church to you: may it be for your family a house of salvation and a place for celebration of your heavenly Sacraments.

Here may the Gospel of peace resound and the sacred mysteries be celebrated, so that your faithful, formed by the word of life and by divine grace on their pilgrim way through the earthly city, may merit to reach the eternal Jerusalem.
- Roman Missal, For the Dedication of a Church,
Intercession for Eucharistic Prayer III