Richard S. Vosko

Musings on religion, art and architecture

New St. Mary Church Dedicated June 5, 2010

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After many years of planning and fund raising the parishioners of St. Mary’s       Parish in Swormville, NY (Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo) dedicated their new 7 million dollar 1000 seat church June 5, 2010.

The Most Rev. Edward Kmiec, D.D.  began the liturgy by blessing the main doors of the building. There the architectural drawings were handed to the Bishop by Mr. Thomas Kerns FAIA and Mr. Sean Reilly AIA of The Kerns Group, Arlington, VA, the project architects.

The Pastor Rev. Robert Yetter, who was featured in the Buffalo News (June 5, 2010), then opened the doors for the symbolic first time and with the Bishop led the parishioners into the church.

The impressive liturgy is metaphorical. All of the ritual actions pointed not only to the dedication of the building but also the re-dedication of the parishioners. The interior was blessed with holy water, the walls and altar table were anointed with oil, the Word of God was proclaimed and the assembly shar

ed in the sacrament of the Eucharist. After the communion rite the sacred elements were reserved in the tabernacle located in its own chapel behind the altar area.

The new church complies with all of the latest liturgical instructions of the Roman Catholic Church including the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002) and the United States Bishops’ pastoral Built of Living Stones (2000).

The church features a baptismal font, a semi-circular seating plan on a sloped floor, a music ministry area and a chapel for the reservation of the Holy Eucharist. The new altar, ambo and tabernacle were custom crafted by parishioner, Donald Herberger. Stations of the Cross were made by Suzanne Young Oakland Township, MI and various sculptures were made by New Jersey artist, Brian Hanlon.

New glass art windows were designed by Pike Stained Glass Studio, Rochester, NY. I served as the liturgical design consultant.

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Author: Richard S. Vosko

Richard S. Vosko, Ph.D., Hon. AIA, is an internationally known sacred space planner. He is a presbyter in the Diocese of Albany who enjoys the classroom as much as the pulpit. On Sundays he presides at worship at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Albany, NY. For more information on Vosko’s background, his projects, publications and speaking engagements please go to his website. For his homilies and occasional musings about religion, art and architecture go to his blog. Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcomed there.

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