Category Archives: COCKRANE CHAPEL

THE CHAPEL at COCHRANE dedicated to THE PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

design and construction by Bernard Lauwyck

design and construction by Bernard Lauwyck

THE CHAPEL at COCHRANE dedicated to THE PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

Sunday Mass at 11 am

After two decades of  fundraising, praying and begging three successive Bishops to provide them with their proper Place of Worship, their prayers were answered when Bishop Gabriel Malzaire granted permission to build a small chapel.  The land was provide by Mr. and Mrs. Alan BRUNEY. 

Adveniat and pontifical Mission Societies provided financial assistance. Many parishioners and wellwishers gave what talent and resources they could.

The Chapel was dedicated and bless by Bishop Gabriel Malzaire on June 6, 2010.

Consecration of the Altar

Consecration of the Altar

I said a few words, as you can find below, to explain what a Catholic place of Worship is all about :

In Exodus chapter 25 we read And God said to Moses 

Build Me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among my people”

You shall make a table of acacia wood”

…”And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me “

This, the members of the Catholic Community of COCKRANE set out to do more than 2 decades ago with a faith and determination that I have not encounter anywhere else in my 30 years in Dominica, and today you see the result of their efforts and their many prayers.

I can still remember the astonished look on fr. John Bergmans face when Mr. Bruney brought the Title Deed of this piece of land to the Bishop’s House with the words :

this is the land for the new chapel in Cockrane“.

Mr. Alan BRUNEY at the blessing of the chapel June 2010

Mr. Alan BRUNEY at the blessing of the chapel June 2010

Of course this community did get some generous help from the St. Alphonsus Parish, many individual benefactors and the wider catholic world community.

What is so Catholic about these furnishings , what items do we need in a Catholic chapel ?

and I want to stress on this because we are sometimes unsure about our own Catholic heritage and identity.

We are all too familiar with

Mathew 18;20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

and this is true  BUT A GATHERING OF PEOPLE DOES NOT MAKE A PLACE SACRED !!

GOD only can make a place sacred !!

A Catholic church or chapel is more than a simple gathering space for worshippers, it is actually

THE HOUSE OF GOD.

So even when the building is empty of people, once the Blessed Sacrament is present, the Real Presence is here.

As Catholics we believe that

Christ is present in this chapel in several ways :

the Church teaches us that

  • “THE ALTAR IS CHRIST “: ONE ALTAR, ONE CHRIST, ONE EUCHARIST, ONE CHURCH 
  • Christ is present in the Word preached from the AMBO, THE PLACE OF THE WORD OF GOD
  • THE PRESIDER OR CELEBRANT represents CHRIST 
  • CHRIST IS PRESENT in the assembly of the faithful,
  • CHRIST is present in the waters of Baptism, here represented in the Holy Water font at the entrance.
  • CHRIST is present in the Tabernacle and we can see the whole chapel building as one large TABERNACLE.

THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF A CATHOLIC Church or chapel.

In addition we notice the large   CRUCIFIX behind the ALTAR. NOT an empty cross !!! with the corpus of a suffering dying Jesus. 

The Passion of the Lord is also depicted in the traditional 14 Stations of the Cross.

The patron feast of this chapel THE PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE, is a feast of both from the Life of Jesus and of his Mother Mary.

And of course no catholic church or chapel should be without an image of the VIRGIN MARY, the mother of God.

Build Me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among my people”

“You shall make a table of acacia wood”

…”And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me “

Acacia was chosen for its durability which is similar to own Red Cedar. The altar you see here was built with Red Cedar.

Psalm 78:19 asks us ” CAN GOD SPREAD A TABLE IN THE DESERT?” the desert of disbelief, unbelief, negativity, sceptism, darkness.      Today this altar has been consecrated by our Bishop Gabriel which include sprinkling with Holy Water, oiling with Chrism OIL, the placing of the white altar cloth and the installation of candles . Holy water, oil, fire and light (as Christ is the LIGHT who came in the darkness and this celebrated in CANDLEMAS on Feb 2, which will be your parish feast).

” CAN GOD SPREAD A TABLE IN THE DESERT?” the spiritual desert we live in today. YES HE CAN !!!

God has pitched his tent in Cockrane TODAY.

and we are all part of this event .

In closing I wanted to provide a few word on BEAUTY and SYMBOLISM in this new place of worship.

Vatican II teaches us that”  ” Buildings … for divine worship ought to be beautiful and symbolic

The fact is that our environment does influence us and architecture is a powerful force on us.

It is of course possible to worship God under a tree, in a hall, stadium or gymnasium, because if people truly seek God, God will meet them there.                                But as Catholics we build special spaces crafted specially for a human-divine encounter with God”

SYMBOLISM

1.this chapel is located , on the mountain.            The old and new testament are full of people who “went up the mountain to meet God” Moses, Isaiah even Jesus went up the mountain to pray to his Father.

2. The shape of this chapel :                     This is a cruciform chapel, in the shape of the cross As I mentioned at the ground breaking ceremony: The shape of the cross firmly embedded tin these foundations in the soil of Cockrane.

3. the ceiling:   The ceiling over the nave in this chapel looks like an upside down ship. The word nave comes from Latin navis, meaning ship, the root of the English word “navigation”, “navy”.   The association of the Church with a ship (or ark) is well known and this chapel will contain the congregation and celebrant traveling together towards God.

BEAUTYjune 2010 042

Beauty is a word we seldom hear these days. Our buzz words are usefulness, functionality, efficiency, productivity, cost benefit.     In a document published in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI named “Sacramentum Caritatis “, there is a chapter on Beauty and the liturgy wherein he mentions the word BEAUTY more than 25 times :and I quote ” Like the rest of Christian Revelation, liturgy is linked to beauty.             The liturgy is a radiant expression of the paschal mystery, in which Christ draws us to himself and calls us to communion. …, in Jesus we contemplate beauty and splendour at their source.

The truest beauty is the love of God, who definitively revealed himself to us in the paschal mystery.  Beauty is a powerful means to draw us closer to the Mystery of God.

The beauty of the liturgy is part of this mystery; it is a sublime expression of God’s glory and, in a certain sense, a glimpse of heaven on earth

Beauty, then, is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God himself and his revelation.

A BEAUTIFUL LITURGY with BEAUTIFUL VESTMENTS, BEAUTIFUL ACTIONS and MOVEMENTS, BEAUTIFUL PROCESSION,BEAUTIFUL WORDS OF GOD, BEAUTIFUL MUSIC, BEAUTIFUL PRAYERS, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF GOD, loving each other  IN …A… BEAUTIFUL CHAPEL

I hope that this new chapel invites each of you to enter in the Presence of the LORD,

to pray,

to worship and

to celebrate the glory of God.

I hope that these walls and each small crevice in them will soon be filled with your prayers .

May these walls soon shout LOUD. loud of the Faith of God’s people of Cockrane.

Thank you.

Station of the Cross in Cockrane

Station of the Cross in Cockrane

Bernard Lauwyck

Diocesan Engineer of the Diocese of Roseau in DOMINICA

June 2010

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