Neither chill nor rain could dampen the spirits of the close to 400 people who prosessed to the new St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Ridgway.
The people had gathered to see Bishop Edward K. Braxton install Father Steven Beatty as pastor of St. Kateri and to witness the dedication of the church and altar.
The water of the baptismal font, which included water from the Jordan River and St. Kateri’s home in New York, mixed with the local waters of Ridgway as it was blessed and then Bishop Braxton sprinkled it upon the people.
Parts of the Communion railing carved long ago for St. Mary Church in Shawneetown by Carl Eswine will be placed around the baptismal pool.
Artists and artisans from the parish donated their talents in the building of the new church. They created, sculpted, painted, and each day a number of people cleaned the church as it took shape.
The parish purchased stained glass windows from the former St. Francis Xavier Church in St. Francisville, and they were refurbished and now once again reside in a church.
Stations of the Cross also came from St. Francis Xavier and parishioners refurbished them for St. Kateri.
Caroline and Charles Trimble, who belonged to St. Francis Xavier attended the dedication and saw the windows that had once hung in their parish church.
Overwhelmed, Caroline Trimble had tears in her eyes as she viewed the windows that once hung in her former parish. People of the former St. Francis Xavier will be invited to Ridgway to attend a special liturgy and see how the windows have been refurbished for St. Kateri Church.
Father Beatty expressed his gratitude to everyone who had any part in building the church.
The people of God are integral to the church. “For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building” (1Cor 3: 9-17) in effect, the living stones of the church, according to the second reading at the dedication.