On June 8th, Church of the Resurrection will be celebrating the first Mass in their new church building after 48 years in a temporary worship space.
Since 1973, Mass has been held in, what Pastor Fr. Kenneth del Priore calls, a “multi-purpose building,” that was originally used for classrooms and a hall. Preparation for the new, much larger church started in 2009 and construction began in 2013. Pastor Fr. Kenneth Del Priore says, “Many blessings and healings have occurred in our previous worship space . . . but nothing compares to a new permanent church that has taken many gifts of time, talent, and treasure.”
Plans are in place for a weekend of celebration after the new church is dedicated on Thursday, June 7th. There will be food booths, live music, a beer garden, and carnival games. Resurrection has given to donors tickets for seats inside during the dedication and first Mass. They will provide overflow seating, along with a broadcast of the celebration in other areas around the campus for the public.
Music and Liturgy Director, and JPCatholic professor, Dr. Robert Giracello mentions that the choir will sing in six different languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Italian, Latin, and Swahili. “I always take into account the multi-lingual community with the music that I choose,” Giracello says. He explains that the Catholic Church gives guidelines as to what music can be played in a dedication mass, but that it leaves some decisions up to the director. One song Dr. Giracello chose is Psalm 27. He states, “I chose [Psalm 27] because it talks about how the Lord is a light in the darkness, and I wanted to play it during the lighting of the candles for the first time.”
According to John Navarette, a high school youth coordinator and JPCatholic senior, the young adults and the high school youth in the community are particularly excited to worship in the new building. “I think many of us young adults have been hearing a lot about the new church being built for years, and I think we were very skeptical about the timeline. So, the minute we got to see the structure beginning to form, it really excited us to see that, ‘Wow, this is really happening’,” Navarette explains. Since the parish’s youth would be growing up in the new church, Fr. del Priore wanted the new church’s first event to be focused on them. Navarette says, “Fr. Ken [del Priore] wanted to make sure that the youth got priority to experience the church for the first time. I think it’s really great because this church is what we’re going to grow up in. And even though we will all still have a special connection to the space we’re in now, all of the youth are excited to have such an aesthetically pleasing and liturgically rich new building.”
Photos courtesy of Anne Linn