Addition Blessed
At Holy Family
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 26, 2020
ROCKFORD—Holy Family pastor, Father Phillip Kaim, grinned as he announced during one of his regular building updates at Holy Family Parish earlier this fall that the parish building campaign was ahead of schedule.
In the military “they used to call me ‘On-Time Father Kaim,’ ” he added to chuckles from the gym-full of socially-distanced and masked parishioners.
Months of patiently celebrating in the school gym — which several parishioners noted was the original location for Mass when the parish began over 50 years ago – ended the weekend of Nov. 14-15 as Masses began to again be held in the church, two weeks earlier than originally planned.
A few days later, on Nov. 19, Bishop David Malloy celebrated an evening Mass and blessed the refurbished sanctuary and new fellowship hall, narthex, restrooms and smaller hall.
After the opening prayer as Mass began, Bishop Malloy said simply, “It’s beautiful.” He paused as the congregation clapped heartily.
In his homily a bit later, the bishop, after commenting on the clarity of the sound now, said, “It’s really spectacular here. ... It feels like one of those moments of getting something new ... of something (that) sparkles (with) cleanliness (and) when you combine it with aspects so familiar (it gives us) a sense of anticipation.
“For us here ... it calls to mind our thoughts about what a church is. What does it really mean?”
After reflecting that God is truly everywhere, Bishop Malloy highlighted the value of a church and parish home.
“We are to worship God everywhere, but in a particular way here,” he said, pointing to the presence of the Eucharist as the “enduring presence of Christ there. (That) tells us something about ourselves.”
A church is, he said, “the place to gather fully” for the sacraments of confession, Eucharist, baptism, and to come together for laughter and fellowship in the new hall. He made certain to thank God first of all, and also all who donated their times, talents and treasures to the parish, past and present.
In his remarks at the end of Mass, Father Kaim thanked Bishop Malloy for making time in his schedule to come and bless the parish. He told those gathered, “Before COVID, I was hoping to invite all your past priests (to this celebration), like a ‘Throwback Thursday’ where you would have seen all your priests.”
He noted the thanks he’d received from “a lot of people” but said “a lot of my job was (to) just get out of the way” of so many other people’s talents. He named parish lay leaders and committee participants as well as construction businesses and the architect, and the members of his parish staff as all being so important to the project, thanking all who contributed as well.
“Before COVID” the plan “was to have a month-long grand re-opening planned,” Father Kaim said. “Look for a reset this summer,” he added. “We will try to do something” more to celebrate.
Joining Bishop Malloy and Father Kaim at the altar were Father Robert Blood, parochial vicar, retired Holy Family pastor Msgr. Daniel Hermes, and former parochial vicar and administrator Father David Beauvais. Deacons Jason Stewart and Frank Zammuto assisted. 
The Mass was offered for the deceased pastors of Holy Family Parish.


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