SALT LAKE CITY — On July 14, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Salt Lake City welcomed the Most Reverend John C. Wester, Bishop of Salt Lake City, to celebrate Mass and bless the new crucifix and renovated altar.
The church also received new flooring.
In his homily Bishop Wester explained why, on that day, he was doing things differently.
"Today the homily is different; I am here at the altar and not over there at the pulpit. I am here because I am going to bless the altar," said Bishop Wester.
According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal "the altar on which the Sacrifice of the Cross is made present under sacramental signs is also the table of the Lord to which the People of God is called together to participate in the Mass, as well as the center of the thanksgiving that is accomplished through the Eucharist."
"The altar is number one in the parish," said Bishop Wester. "Nothing is more important than it; it is the center of Christ."
The altar is where the Mass is celebrated, representing the presence of Christ. That’s one reason that, when priests and deacons enter the apse to celebrate the Mass, they kiss the altar as a symbol of love and respect to the presence of Christ.
Also in his homily Bishop Wester said that the altar shows "our love for Christ."
And that love is what makes all the renovations possible, because to be able to do them the parishioners joined forces and collected the funds to be able to pay the costs.
"We are still making more efforts, such as an upcoming carnival and future events," said Maria Burgos, a Sacred Heart parishioner.
Bishop Wester also reminded the parishioners about the importance of putting their love into practice by showing it to their neighbors.
"You and I are together with and in Christ. In our baptism we are all Christ’s body and that’s why we need to proclaim our faith and our love," said Bishop Wester.
In his comments, Father Eugenio Yarce, Sacred Heart pastor, thanked Bishop Wester for his presence that day and for blessing the parish. He also took the opportunity to thank the community for all their efforts and years of service.
"You have been a very important part of this project and even though I will continue my service in another parish, you have to keep on with your good work here," said Fr. Yarce, who has been appointed pastor at Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Kearns. Father Eleazar Silva will become the new pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. The appointments are effective Aug. 7.
"Thank you to all, especially to you, Fr. Eugenio, for your service here," said Bishop Wester.