Saturday, July 18, 2009

Restoration and Dedication of a Chapel at St. Gabriel's in Stamford, CT: The St. Philip Neri Chapel

Many of you will be familiar with Father Cyprian La Pastina of St. Gabriel's in Stamford, Connecticut, a parish which is active in pursuing both the reform of the reform and the usus antiquior, inclusive of festal vespers a number of times throughout the liturgical year.

It was recently reported to the NLM that on Tuesday, June 30th, Bishop William Lori dedicated a new chapel in honor of St. Philip Neri at that church. The space was originally a daily Mass chapel when the parish first opened 45 years ago. However, this changed and in the intervening period, it served as a lunchroom for the school, a library, a teachers lounge and finally a store room. It has now been restored to its original purpose.

The NLM is told that the chapel was very much a parish project with the altar and ciborium-like elements being executed by carpenters in the parish. The new flooring and painting of the chapel was completed by members of the parish as well, and the pews were restored by the Men's Club.

The altar contains a first class relic of St Philip Neri obtained from the Chiesa Nuova in Rome and is free-standing, with enough room on either side for the celebration of the sacred liturgy.

For the dedication, the choir sang Palestrina's Missa Aeterna Christi Munera with motets by Victoria and Vaugh-Williams. Mass was offered by the bishop in accordance with the modern Roman liturgy, employing the "Benedictine arrangement."

The Chapel of St. Philip Neri is now used for daily Mass and devotions.