There are many different celebrations of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, but one of the rarest and one that few may see in their lifetime is the re-dedication of a church. On Sunday, December 20, 2015, Fourth Degree members of Knights of Columbus Council 14360 visited The Shrine Church of Our Lady of Solace Parish in Coney Island (Brooklyn), NY to help celebrate the completion of a three year journey. With Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio the celebrant, the church was re-dedicated in front of a packed church of parishioners who have helped see the process through.
In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy raged across the East Coast destroying everything in its path. Our Lady of Solace was not spared from the destruction. The floor was destroyed, the pews all warped from water damage and the rectory had a foot and a half of water throughout, destroying the floor and all the computers. Many helped to get the process started of rebuilding, including K of C Council 14360 and St. Matthew Parish, who went down the Belt Parkway multiple times to help deliver supplies and toys. Over the next few years the church raised funds while inviting Council 14360 down for special masses. However on this day it was more special as it was the church’s re-dedication and reconsecration of the altar, an event not often seen in a Catholic’s lifetime.
The mass included the spreading of holy chrism across the five crosses on the alter, meant to represent Jesus’ five wounds while on the cross, as well as other prayers officially consecrating the altar and statues. St Matthew Council 14360 presented the parish with a new chalice and a letter of best wishes from Bishop Caggiano (former Auxillary Bishop from the Diocese of Brooklyn)to honor the occasion.
The council was honored to have two special guests dress in Knights regalia on this day: CT District Master Charles Sullivan and his Chief of Staff, Joe Duplessie.
“I am so proud of the parish and the faith their parishioners have, led first by Father Armando and now by Father Shiju. Their dedication to their faith forged this journey for them and it was an honor for our council to help them on this journey. The parishioners are so warm and make us feel like family every time we visit. This parish led by Father Shiju has worked so hard to bring the church back to its former glory,” said Council 14360 Grand Knight George Ribellino.
The church was moved in 1923 to this current location and was a cornerstone of the Coney Island neighborhood, but like all the amusements and restaurants along the boardwalk a few blocks away, the church was decimated by Sandy’s powerful rain and winds.
To cap Sunday’s festivities, the former parachute needle on the boardwalk was lit up with the words “OLS 2015” in honor of the special occasion, and the new chapter of OLS’ mission.
To read a recently-published article about Sunday’s re-dedication, click on the link below:
Pic 1-Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio consecrating the altar at The Shrine Church Our Lady of Solace
Pic 2-Knights at Re-dedication Mass at The Shrine Church Our Lady of Solace
Pic 3- St. Matthew K of C Sir Knights with a child from the parish that asked to take a pic with the Knights.