Thursday, June 14, 2012


Here is the story of another chalice.  It comes from a reader of AA who often sends remarks outside of the comment box.  I asked this person if I could share this story with you.

As things turn out she has a chalice in her possession.  “In case you are wondering what I am doing with a chalice,” she wrote, “so am I!”  As things turned out her aunt had married a Roman Catholic priest.  Of course such events are usually met with a suspension of priestly faculties and a release from the vow of celibacy so that he could marry.  His chalice, however, remained with him and sat on the mantelpiece.  It had served for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for five years prior to its stepping down from use in liturgical duties.

The chalice itself is interesting.  It was made by Hal Schremmer at the begging of his career.  Schremmer, a silversmith, also made a cross for the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica. 

When the writer went to the funeral of her uncle the chalice became a topic of discussion and it was decided that it should be returned for use in the church, hopefully by a seminarian who would need a chalice.  The sticking point was the cross which contained family diamonds.  The cross was removed and replaced though the new cross was of somewhat less artistic value since the level of skill by the silversmith did not meet that of Schremmer.

A seminarian was found who was in need of a chalice.  A resident seminarian visiting from Africa, a transitional deacon, was returning home soon to be ordained a priest and would have to provide himself with all that was necessary for a priest to have.  He was unsure how he would accomplish this when news of this chalice made itself known.  So, from use at Mass, to mantelpiece, to the other side of the world this chalice traveled because somebody thought it was important to put a consecrated item back into use in the church.
These things come by St. Sebastian now and then.  Just recently somebody gave me a processional cross when I was walking Sebastian past a yard sale.  If you have such items, particularly those things used for the celebration of the Mass sitting around as show pieces, consider returning them for use in the Church or missions.  I’ll grant you it may be difficult if your pastor is particular (Ew!  We don’t want THAT here) but your chancery may know of places in great need.

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