PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Archdiocese has found a home for the altar used by Pope Francis when he celebrated the closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families on the Ben Franklin Parkway during his visit to Philadelphia.
Father Dennis Gill, Director of the Archdiocese Office of Divine Worship and rector of the Cathedral Basilica, was responsible for finding a home for the papal altar.READ MORE: Philadelphia Mural Arts Unveils New Work, Teams Up With The Colored Conventions Project
Gill said there were a few requests from parishes, but one quickly rose to the surface.
“We wanted a place where it would be used in a consistent way, especially if a parish could use it,” Gill said. “And we found Holy Martyrs Parish in Oreland which was in need of a dignified altar for their church, and they happily received it this past week.”READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf To Unveil Legislation To Strengthen Protections Against Sexual Assault, Violence On Campus
The small Montgomery County parish of about 1,100 families was among those being studied for possible closure by the archdiocese.
Its new pastor, Father Jason Kulczynski, has been at Holy Martyrs for only five months. He said the gift of the altar is a huge boost.
“The fact that we’ve been entrusted with this great treasure would suggest that there’s great hope for us,” Kulczynski said.MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Native Kahleah Copper Named WNBA Finals MVP After Chicago Sky Win First-Ever Title
The altar was formally dedicated for use at the parish during the Saturday evening Mass.