GENEROUS Gold Coast Catholics contributed to the new altar and chapel inside Sacred Heart Church in Clear Island Waters, which was formally dedicated earlier this month.
The church belongs to the same parish at Surfers Paradise where Bishop-elect Anthony Randazzo grew up and received his primary education.
The bishop-elect returned to his childhood parish when it celebrated the dedication of Sacred Heart Church for the first time in its 30-year life.
The dedication Mass coincided with the blessing of the new altar, ambo and tabernacle, all commissioned and constructed by local craftsmen and silversmiths.
The parish also opened the new Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
More than 600 people attended the dedication Mass on July 3, concelebrated by Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Surfers Paradise parish priest Fr Tim Harris, former dean and associate pastor Fr Kevin Carey, Missionary Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Father Regimon Gervasis and Bishop-elect Randazzo, with assistance from Deacon Gary Stone and Fr Nicholas Okafor.
Pastoral associate Helen Goldsmith said welcoming Monsignor Randazzo made the day a “real family occasion”.
Fr Harris said the parish supported the majority of the refurbishment costs.
“Once again parishioners and visitors donated generously to the refurbishment,” he said. “The altar alone cost just over $20,000.
“There is no doubt that the improvements are significant and worthy of the beautiful sacred space.”
Fr Harris said the parish was developing a tradition of expanding and building new churches to suit “the needs of the day”.
“Bishop John Gerry, former auxiliary bishop of Brisbane once remarked that the decision to build Sacred Heart Church and to relocate St Vincent’s school was a master stroke,” he said.
“As the present parish priest I would concur with this and I would add that the tradition of building continues to this present time.
“It seems we as a parish have always sought to respond to the needs of the day with new buildings emerging as required across the parish including new and refurbished churches.
“The church has always been a place of prayer and worship for the community and continues to be worthy of the celebration of the mystery of Jesus.”
Under Canon Law, Mass can only be celebrated in a church that is at least blessed, a rite that can be celebrated by a bishop or priest delegated by the ordinary.
A dedication or consecration rite of a church, however, can only be celebrated by the bishop and is deemed the highest solemn liturgies.
The dedication of a church transforms a building to a place of worship and service to God.
Churches are consecrated or dedicated at the same time as the dedication of at least one fixed altar.
By Emilie Ng