Amid these privileged days before Christmas, we have a very special Solemnity which we celebrate on the 21st of December. In 1996 our Chapel of the Sacred Heart was rededicated by James Cardinal Hickey after its restoration following the 1993 fire that destroyed our school building and damaged the Chapel. Each year, when we celebrate this solemnity, we light the six festive candles (pictured above) on the walls of the chapel and choir, marking the places where the walls were anointed with chrism oil. At Office of Readings today the second reading was from the homily on the day following the rededication, the fourth Sunday of Advent 1996. We share here an excerpt from this well-crafted reflection:
"The chapel associated with Georgetown Visitation Monastery and Academy has been here for almost two hundred years. We can't really dedicate or consecrate it! Those hundreds and hundreds of Sisters who have prayed in this space, who have taught in this academy, and who have lived in this Monastery -- they have dedicated it, consecrated it, hallowed it. . . . Their bodies lie here -- a few beneath this building but most in the earth just up the hill. . . . Their prayers, as well as their long years of toil and suffering, continue to bless us still. . . . The fact of faith is what makes this chapel a place where those who come here to meet with God, speak with God, learn from God, and leave God only to find Him again in those they serve and among those with whom they live. God is found here because God loves here -- and he is loved here in return. He is loved in both prayer and in life, day in and day out, year in and year out -- always!"
Very Rev. Lewis Fiorelli, OSFS