Rochester parish consecrates new altar - Catholic Courier

Rochester parish consecrates new altar

ROCHESTER — The altar from Holy Redeemer/St. Francis Xavier Church was moved last month to its new home at Our Lady of the Americas Parish, where it was consecrated on Dec. 14.

Parishioner Jose Anibal Rivera, a member of the parish’s maintenance staff, oversaw the process of moving the 1,600-pound altar table and 900-pound base. He said it has taken more than 100 hours of planning and labor to move the altar, which had been located in the former St. Patrick Cathedral.

Michael Valle, a parishioner who is a stonecutter, helped separate the two sections so they could be moved and also designed the new framework to reattach them, said Father Vincent Panepinto, pastor. The cost for a company to do this work was more than the parish could afford, Rivera explained.

"The Lord has given me the knowledge to find a way (to do the job)," Rivera said. "Thanks be to God, little by little, we got it done."

The intricate process of moving the altar table — also known as the mensa — involved using a hydraulic lift to lower it to the floor inch by inch, setting it on rollers and rolling it onto a flatbed truck for transport, Father Panepinto added. The process was repeated at Our Lady of the Americas, he noted.

"It was something to watch," Father Panepinto remarked.

During the consecration, the parishioners who had kept the relics from the parishes that merged to form Our Lady of the Americas — Holy Redeemer/St. Francis Xavier, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Corpus Christi — brought them up to the new altar. Father Panepinto laid them into the altar table, and Rivera sealed the table with cement.

"I felt overcome by emotion," Rivera said. "It was a beautiful thing."

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