The Sisters and a number of guests gathered in the newly renovated chapel for the Mass, concelebrated by Msgr. John Perkinton, the Sisters’ chaplain; Father Gary Coulter, co-vicar for religious; and Father Jamie Hottovy.
In his homily, Bishop Conley said, “What a grace it is for all of us to be here… to share in the joy of this day.
“In fact, this is really a wonderful time to be the Bishop of Lincoln, where churches and chapels across the diocese are being constructed, or renovated, or restored, to beautiful spaces for the worship of the Lord and for the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy.”
The Sisters employed the theological, architectural, and design expertise of a team consisting of Father Hottovy, Jean Kriz, Char Kriz, and Dan Sharp.
During the summer of 2013 Father Hottovy met with the Sisters to discuss their needs, hopes, desires, and plans for the renovation of the chapel. Working with Jean and Char Kriz, a plan was proposed to the Marian Sisters’ community in December 2013.
Through the generosity of a lead donation by Tom and Rhonda Peed of Lincoln, the Marian Sisters’ chapel renovation project soon began to take shape.
“The family, friends, and wonderful people of the Diocese of Lincoln generously and enthusiastically joined the Sisters in this holy endeavor,” said Sister Cecilia Ann Rezac, M.S., major superior of the Marian Sisters.
The actual renovation work began March 24, and although not yet fully completed, the rededication of the chapel was able to take place just seven months after the project’s inception.
During the renovation work, the Sisters made use of their much smaller chapel located in the infirmary of the convent. About a dozen Sisters could pray in the chapel while the others sat in the wide hallway just outside of the chapel. Sister Cecilia Ann said Msgr. Perkinton offered the Sisters the thought that they were like the Israelites in the desert, and that God was still with them although they felt somewhat displaced.
“It was truly a feeling of homecoming, being able to return to the main chapel of the Motherhouse,” she said, “and to see the timeless beauty that lifts one’s heart and soul to God in prayer.”
The renovation of the chapel is still a work in progress but through the ongoing support of many benefactors, the work will be completed. An open house for the public is planned for February 2015, to express the gratitude of the Sisters, and so that all may enjoy and celebrate the sacrificial gift of time, talent, and treasure offered to God through the renovation project.
Editor’s note: A video highlighting the celebration is available at the Register’s online video gallery.