Saint John the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Leesburg dedicated its new Church building Friday.
The dedication and blessing ceremony began with an address by the Bishop Loverde in the Parish Center, which is the old church. Then the bishop, ministers and congregation formed a procession over to the new church singing Psalm 122, "Let us go Rejoicing". The psalm is one of the ‘songs of ascent’, sung by the people of Israel on pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem.
The church has grown considerably over the years to a parish of 2,500. The new church will now allow 1,100 people to worship at each service, instead of 400.
“The dedication of the newly-completed Church of the Saint John the Apostle in Leesburg is not only a blessing for this parish family, but an occasion of celebration for our entire diocesan church. I pray that present and future members of this growing and dynamic parish community will experience within these sacred walls the living presence of Jesus Christ, who will unite them in giving praise to God our Father in the power of the Holy Spirit and strengthen them for their witness to truth and to charity in the world,” Bishop Loverde said.
Construction began in October 2010 and was funded by the parish's capital campaign.
“We are very truly blessed to come to final completion of this beautiful,
faith-affirming new church, and we are looking forward to being in our new
spiritual home," said Father John P. Mosimann, Pastor of St. John the Apostle. "This long-awaited and much-needed church, the fruit of years of prayer and sacrifice by our parishioners, provides an awesome setting to glorify God, offer the sacraments and continue building our community.”
The procession arrived outside the closed church doors where the keys and
legal ownership documents were formally passed to the Bishop, the principal celebrant. The bishop called for the doors to be opened and led the congregation inside a darkened, bare sanctuary. For the next three hours in a beautiful and ancient tradition, the furnishings were anointed, incensed and consecrated to their sacred purpose as part of the dedication mass.
A reception followed the ceremony in the Parish Center.