Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 16 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Gerard Majella
Aleteia logo

Resurrection: Altar That Survived Tornado Gets a New Home

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/01/15

Three years ago, a tornado tore through Ridgway, Illinois and destroyed the town’s Catholic church.

editedaltar

All that survived was the altar. At the time, Deacon Bill Johnson sent me pictures and news:

You will notice the Italian marble altar that was miraculously spared.  Work is underway to salvage the altar by first protecting it from the elements, and then having it dismantled piece by piece. Thankfully, the parish priest (administrator) Father Steve Beatty, who lives in the rectory next to the church, escaped injury.  The rectory was heavily damaged. Of course the main question being asked is if the church will be rebuilt.  As of now that has not been determined.

Well, the decision was made to rebuild. I’d forgotten about all this until late today, when Deacon Johnson dropped me a line:

A lot has happened since that event, including the suppression of St. Joseph Parish and the establishment of a new parish, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks, based still in Ridgway, IL. The new parish resulted from the combining of the neighboring parishes in Shawneetown (Immaculate Conception), Equality (St. Joseph) and Pond Settlement (St. Patrick) together with St. Joseph in Ridgway. Eventually, Bishop Edward Braxton granted permission for the new parish to build a new church, which was dedicated by Bp. Braxton this past Sunday (Nov. 29). I was privileged to be one of the assisting deacons at the Mass. The altar was reassembled by Daprato Rigali Studios and now occupies the sanctuary as the reredos, providing the background for the new Altar (also made of Italian marble). In addition, the pastor, Fr. Steven Beatty, arranged for the stained glass windows and Stations of the Cross from another closed parish (St. Francis Xavier, St. Francisville IL) to be purchased and installed into the new church.

The results?  I think they speak for themselves. What a glorious start to Advent—and a blessed capstone to Thanksgiving weekend, too. Ad multos annos!

Nov30 106
009
015

Photos: Deacon Bill Johnson

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Larry Peterson
This is the only officially recognized Marian apparition in the U...
2
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
3
NIGHTBIRDE
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde finds inspiration in Joan of Arc
4
AVENIDO BROTHERS
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
5
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
6
POPE JOHN JOHN XXIII
Philip Kosloski
Vatican II’s primary goal, according to St. John XXIII
7
GETAFE
Dolors Massot
Two sisters become nuns at the same time in Spain
See More