This past spring, the beautiful marble high altar for the college’s new Christ the King Chapel was installed, transforming the interior of the chapel in a dramatic way. During the college’s Homecoming Weekend in October, many alumni were able to tour the Chapel for the first time as it continues undergoing construction, seeing this high altar for the first time. In the process, a heartwarming story was unearthed, pointing to the importance of preserving these beautiful works of the Church.
During their Chapel tour, alumni Karl (’11) and Melanie (’12) Haislmaier went up to the high altar display easel and discovered that the altar was relocated from St. Mary of the Assumption in Northampton, Massachusetts. This was a meaningful revelation for them because they lived nearby while Karl was in graduate school, and they left the tour reflecting on how wonderful it was to rescue the beautiful altar and give it a home at Christendom.
Later, the Haislmaiers decided to look more into the history of St. Mary’s in Massachusetts. They came across an article written by a longtime parishioner of St. Mary’s, who was deeply saddened by the closure of the church. One sentence in particular struck them: “The beautiful hand-carved Italian-marble altar was shipped to who knows where…”
Immediately, they decided to contact the author to tell him of the altar’s new location. He was thrilled to discover that the altar had been found and could not wait to share the news with many others who loved St. Mary’s.
Moments like these are reminders of the importance of preserving beautiful works of the Church, rather than letting them fall into disrepair or be lost to time. The beautiful former high altar of St. Mary’s will continue to be worshipped at for generations to come, helping to raise hearts and souls to God in the process.
Please join us in praying for the Church and those who are directly impacted by the closure of Catholic churches across the United States and the world.