New Altar at Johnsburg is ‘Flame of Gratitude’ for The Gift of the Eucharist
Patricia SzPekowski, Observer Correspondent
June 30, 2022
JOHNSBURG—The new altar at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg was blessed through the beautiful and symbolic rituals associated with the dedication by Bishop David Malloy during the 4 p.m. Mass on June 25.
“An altar signifies the depth and connection of our faith since the Old Testament,” said Bishop Malloy during his homily which preceded the dedication. “It reminds us of the Last Supper where the first Mass was offered and it must be linked to Christ on the Cross offering His Body and Blood.  This altar takes us backward into the Old Testament and forward into eternity.”
“The blessing of this altar will take place with the sacred chrism used in the sacraments, making present the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit the bread is turned into the Body of Christ and the wine becomes the Blood of Christ,” said Bishop Malloy. “This takes place through the priest and is a dynamic part of our faith as the memorial of His presence.”
Bishop Malloy indicated that the Bishops of the United States have adopted a renewal of the revival of the Eucharist for the next three years. “Only 28 percent of Catholics believe that the Body and Blood of Christ is present in the Eucharist,” he said. “This dedication is part of that renewal, a flame of gratitude that the gift of the Eucharist is entrusted to us.”
Following the singing of the Litany of the Saints after the Creed, Bishop Malloy began this most sacred ritual with chrism oil blessed on Holy Thursday.  He began by pouring chrism on the center of the altar and on each of its four corners, then rubbed the chrism onto and across the entire surface.  He then offered incense over the entire altar, which is burned to signify Christ’s sacrifice.  
The final steps proceeded to complete the altar and make it ready for the continuance of Mass and the offerings of the consecration. The Gena Beck family, donors of the altar, assisted with the process. Gena Beck, James Eldridge, and Tom Torchalski placed the covering and candles on the altar. 
At the conclusion of Mass, Cindy Govekar, a member of the parish council, expressed appreciation to Bishop Malloy for blessing the altar and to Gena Beck, a member of the parish for 49 years, for her heart of service. 
“You have given us the gift to enhance our worship with a new altar, ambo, and podium where the Living Word is read,” Govekar said, “I personally thank you Gena for what you have given to our church for now and generations to come.”
According to pastor Resurrectionist Father Jacek Junak, the new altar was custom-designed, crafted and built by an artist in Poland. “It brings us reverence and reflects the beautiful neo-Gothic style of our church,” he said. “We are grateful for this beautiful gift.”
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