CARBONDALE – With champagne in hand, parishioners gathered outside Saint Rose of Lima Church on Aug. 23, 2021, to celebrate the relighting of its steeple after the completion of a major renovation project.
The outdoor event followed a 7:30 p.m. Mass for the Solemnity of Saint Rose, in which the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as principal celebrant.
“It is a real pleasure for me to join with this parish community,” the bishop said in welcoming the large crowd that gathered. “We give thanks for the incredible work that has been done to restore this beautiful church and particularly its tower, which really shines as a beacon of faith and hope to this entire community.”
After several years of planning and fundraising, Saint Rose of Lima Parish recently completed a large-scale church renovation project in which its granite steps, steeple and façade were all restored. Knowing the church’s importance, both parishioners and the Carbondale business community embraced the renovation work, raising more than $850,000 for the project.
Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh, pastor, delivered the homily during the Mass.
“We’re so happy with the conclusion of this project. It was long overdue,” Father Walsh said. “Everyone who made a contribution to this project did what our ancestors did… They knew that faith needed to be a priority for them and their families and so they invested in a beautiful house of worship that just continued to grow and grow.”
Father Walsh spent much of his homily focusing on “little details.”
Quoting Pope Francis, the Carbondale pastor emphasized that “little details” are important saying, “Jesus asked his disciples to pay attention to details, the little detail that wine was running out at a party, the little details that one sheep was missing.”
Father Walsh then explained all the “little details” that went into making the restoration project at Saint Rose of Lima Church a success. The details ranged from the hard work it took to replace the steps outside the church, to the meticulous effort to make sure the scaffolding outside the church was put up properly so that workers could reach the steeple, to the masonry work involved with the bluestone over the church’s archways.
“It was an awful lot of work,” Father Walsh said.
Even as the steeple was re-lit to great joy in the community, Father Walsh ended his homily by emphasizing that while a church building is a great treasure, it is the faith of each person that needs to shine the brightest.
“What God manifests in the external, he also wants to manifest in the internal,” Father Walsh said. “All of the detail work that goes into restoring the outside of this church applies equally to the detail that each one of us is responsible for in maintaining our spiritual lives.”