Cardinal Tauran and Archbishop Blair bless new chapel

MERIDEN, CT (11-01-2014) - A joyful crowd of over 250 friends, benefactors, priests and relatives attended the solemn ceremony of blessing of the newly constructed Chapel of St. John on the Franciscan Sisters' campus. Principal celebrant of the Mass was Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, President of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialog. Cardinal Tauran also had announced to the world the election of Pope Francis from St. Peter's balcony in 2013. Principal concelebrants were the Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Archbishop of Hartford and the Most Reverend Daniel Cronin, Archbishop Emeritus of Hartford.

The ceremony included the opening of the exterior doors by the general contractor and the architect, and the opening of the interior doors by Mother Shaun Vergauwen, Mother General, and Mother Miriam Seiferman, Vicar General. Cardinal Tauran blessed the altar with holy water and Archbishop Blair sprinkled the walls. The new altar stone was consecrated with holy oil by Cardinal Tauran. Following the consecration, the altar was dressed with a new cloth, and candles and flowers were placed by the Sisters in the sanctuary. In his homily, Cardinal Tauran spoke of the chapel as a place of prayer for the Franciscan Community to deepen their spiritual life to nourish and energize their many works and ministries. In his remarks at the end of Mass, Archbishop Blair offered his support and gratitude for the Franciscan Community in the archdiocese. He was happy to be re-acquainted with Cardinal Tauran with whom he had worked at the Vatican several years ago. Mother Shaun commended the diligent work of John Sullivan of Sullivan Brothers, general contractors, and the architects of Don Hammerberg Associates.

See photos of this special historic day:




See below special photos of the day taken by the official photographer, Mr. Bob Mullen, The Catholic Photographer, for whom the Community is very grateful for his beautiful and reverent work in capturing the sacred moments of the day: