Elburn Church Dedicated
Bishop David Malloy (center), Deacon Gregory Urban of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Maple Park and altar servers are framed by other altar boys, one holding a crucifix, at the dedication of the new St. Gall Church in Elburn on June 11. (Observer photo/Amanda Hudson)
Women of the St. Gall Parish decorate the sanctuary after the altar was blessed and before Mass continued. (Observer photo/Amanda Hudson)
Father Christopher DiTomo incenses the new St. Gall Church after passing by the new baptismal font. (Observer photo/Amanda Hudson)
An altar server lights a candle near a Station of the Cross. The stations were refurbished after being in storage for many years. (Observer photo/Amanda Hudson)
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
June 15, 2017

ELBURN—As she passed out programs at the June 11 dedication of the new St. Gall Church and altar, St. Gall parishioner Donna Shoop was all smiles.

Explaining that the stained glass windows had come from the old church, she said, “You go in and sit down, and it’s just like home.”

Shoop’s smile widened as she added, “We brought everything that wasn’t nailed down,” although it was clear that some elements had, in fact, been “nailed down.”

The Stations of the Cross came from an even longer-ago church that served the parish prior to the most-recent Shannon Street campus at the north edge of downtown Elburn.

Those now-refurbished stations were stored in someone’s barn, she said.

“We’re not wasting a thing ... I love this church. It’s a beautiful worship space,” Shoop said.

The new St. Gall Church is located just south of Elburn on Illinois Rt. 47 at Hughes Road.

It holds 400 people, about twice as many as the Shannon Street church.

The dedication Mass was celebrated by Bishop David Malloy and other priests of the diocese and of Marmion Abbey.

“In a very real way, we are doing something very Catholic,” Bishop Malloy said as he explained the steps of the dedication.

“We are entering into history ... and at the same time we are opening ourselves up” to the eternal, using symbols that harken back even to the Old Testament such as water, blessed oil and incense.

The bishop said the first Masses held in homes in the area began the “footprint of faith” that has continued in Elburn through several generations and church buildings.

It is a “testimony of love and care and faith,” he said, calling the parish “a sign of health, a sign of vitality, a sign of faith” for the modern world.

“If not for the work of all those good committees, we’d be sitting in a field right now,” he said to chuckles from those gathered.

The one thing about St. Gall Parish that has made a constant impression on him, Bishop Malloy said, is “the sense of joy, the sense of commitment (and) the sense of a parish (working) together ... a spirit of working together in joy.”

That happiness was evident as people first gathered, during the Mass and at the reception that followed as people lingered a long time mingling over prepared treats.

The dedication Mass was the first to be celebrated in the new church. Weekday and weekend Masses now will be held there, with the exception of a final, farewell Mass scheduled at the Shannon Street church the afternoon of June 25. That will be followed by a barbeque and a pilgrimage walk/Eucharistic procession some 20 minutes up the road to the new church – the new home of St. Gall Parish as it takes another step in parish and diocesan history.