Like Living Stones
"And then I saw a great multitude…standing before the throne and the Lamb." (Rev 7:9)
A Communion of Saints
"I saw the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven, and it remained on Him," said John the Baptist of Jesus. John had been told that the Spirit resting on Jesus was a sign of the one "who baptizes in the Holy Spirit" (John 1:32,33).
In the afternoon, the sun streams through the Holy Spirit window and rests on the Altar with a fiery glow.
As a symbol of God’s presence, the anointed Altar also represents our union with Him and His Saints. The window’s fire resting on the Altar calls us to life in that union.
Relics in the Altar
During the Rite of Dedication, the congregation sings the Litany of the Saints as Bishop Carl seals four first-class relics into the Altar. (A "first-class relic" is a portion of the body of a canonized Saint, such as a small piece of bone.)
Encasing relics in the Altar recalls how the early Church in times of persecution worshiped in catacombs—celebrating Mass literally upon the bones of the martyrs.
Usually, only one such relic is needed. But Christ the King is blessed with four; these Saints embody the holiness we should emulate.
One is St. Maria Goretti, martyr, who at age twelve gave up her life rather than surrender to a sexual assault. Teens are drawn to her strength of character and her purity.
Another is St. John Vianney, priest, whose charism of discerning hearts led many to conversion through Confession. He is the patron Saint of the diocesan priesthood and points to a life of self-sacrificing ministry.
There is also St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, mother, convert, religious and educator. Her life experience shows the many forms holiness can take.
Finally, St. John of the Cross was a Carmelite, mystic, and Doctor of the Church. For Carmelites, he is both brother and patron. For the rest of us, he shows the depth of union with Jesus that is possible.
Most Catholic churches have statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph near the sanctuary—and so will Christ the King. They will be located in niches on either side of the altar.
These two are preeminent models of the Church. The Blessed Virgin Mary — the Woman of Revelation, Mother of the Church, Spouse of the Holy Spirit. St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church— sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, self-effacing husband, strong guardian.
Outside the Church, flanking the Holy Spirit window, will be statues of St. Peter and St. Paul.
All these Saints are brothers and sisters, eternally linked with us as living stones built into God’s Spirit-filled Church.
The Holy Spirit Window
Anyone who has visited St. Peter’s in Rome is struck with the beauty and power of the Holy Spirit window. A replica of that window now graces Christ the King church.
That window reminds us who we are as a parish. Christ the King is formally constituted as a charismatic parish. That means two things.
It means we are marked, as all Catholics are, with the interior gifts of the Spirit: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, fear of the Lord (Is 11:2-3).
It also means that we manifest these gifts outwardly with the utterance of wisdom and knowledge, of faith and healing and miracles, of prophecy, discernment of spirits, and tongues and their interpretation—not to mention other charisms Paul mentions (1 Cor 12:8-10; Rom 12:6-8).
And because the Spirit is a consuming fire, that window calls us to the purifying love that surrounds all charismatic gifts (1 Cor 13).
It is who we are as a parish.
Through the intercession of all our patron Saints, may we yield fully to the work of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to make us what we have been created to be—saints who will one day join our brothers and sisters in Heaven
"The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise Him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth…their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world." CCC 2683