Bishop Mitchell Rozanski dedicates altar in Elm’s College’s new chapel

Members of the Sisters of St. Joseph were also present for the dedication

Most Reverend Mitchell T. Rozanski, D.D., Bishop of Springfield, celebrates the Solemn Dedication of the Altar in the college’s new St. Joseph Chapel on Wednesday, Nov. 30. Images courtesy of Elms College.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s bishop visited the College of Our Lady of the Elms on Thursday to serve as the principal celebrant for the Solemn Dedication of the altar in the college’s new St. Joseph Chapel.

In a news release to 22News from Elms College, Most Reverend Mitchell Rozanski said it was a joy to gather at the sacred place.

““What a joy it is to gather upon this day to give thanks to God for this sacred space, this space already dedicated for those who come to seek God’s presence in prayer, to find here a place of comfort, hope, and the presence of the Lord,” Bishop Rozanski said.

According to the news release, the law of the Catholic Church states that every place of worship should have a fixed altar that is attached to the floor and cannot be moved.

“The stone placed in the new altar of St. Joseph Chapel holds special meaning,” said the College Chaplain, Rev. Mark Stelzer, Ph.D. “Originally part of an altar used in the chapel of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in North Adams, Massachusetts, the altar and stone were gifted to the Elms Academy in the late 1890s and placed in the first chapel located in Stebbins House which stood on Springfield Street.”

Part of the dedication consisted of placing a stone that contains the relics of a saint in the base of the altar, anointing the altar top with the sacred oil of chrism, incensing the altar, covering the altar with linens, and lighting the altar with candles.

“Today is indeed a special occasion, as we bring the most sacred element of the old chapel into the new chapel,” said Harry E. Dumay, Ph.D., MBA, president of Elms College. “The location of this chapel in the heart of Berchmans Hall, in the middle of the administrative and academic life of the college, serves as an inspiration for us. It’s an inspiration to stop in the hustle and bustle of every day for a moment of quiet.”

Members of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the order of nuns that founded the college, were also present for the dedication.