Pieces from former cathedral have new home at St. Mark’s
After the closing of the former Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Burlington, many former parishioners chose to become members of St. Mark Parish.
And because the North Avenue church is in the process of an interior renovation, some items from the former cathedral have been incorporated to enhance the worship space.
“These items give all of us an opportunity to make a new home for the former mother church of our Diocese,” said Father Dallas St. Peter, pastor of St. Mark’s.
One major item that was moved to St. Mark’s was a section of the confessional that will be used as an extra confessional location. “The confessional is the most important place of encounter with Jesus Christ, outside of the Eucharist,” Father St. Peter said. “It is in the confessional that we are transformed powerfully through the outpouring of God’s mercy; replacing our sins with the love of Jesus, which is the power and grace that makes us holy.”
Relocating the confessional to St. Mark brings much more than just a wooden partition. “It gives us a wall that has witnessed the trusting cries, sorrows and agonies of God’s people coming to encounter and be transformed by divine, unconditional love,” he said. “They are saturated with the mercy and love of Jesus Christ and thus bring a profound sacramental grace to our parish.”
Also, St. Mark’s is home to the tabernacle lamp that reminded visitors to the former cathedral that Jesus was present in that space. “Now, it continues to remind parishioners and visitors to St. Mark’s that Jesus is present in this space,” noted Christopher Johnson, director of evangelization and faith formation at St. Mark’s. “Our churches around the world are full of signs and symbols of the presence of God in these spaces. In fact, the catechism defines a church as ‘a house of prayer in which the Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, where the faithful assemble and where is worshipped the presence of the Son of God our Savior, offered for us on the sacrificial altar for the help and consolation of the faithful.’”
He said it is a blessing for St. Mark’s to incorporate items from the former cathedral that can continue to serve as signs and symbols of God’s presence. “So, while an old confessional door on the market may not fetch more than the value of the wood, for us as Catholics, knowing the years of its sacramental use and all the grace that has passed through to poor sinners seeking the mercy of God, it is priceless.”