Why do we have altar relics?
Every Catholic Altar is to have a saint’s Relic (a first-class that is a small piece of the saint’s body) placed in or under the Altar’s table, or “mensa.” This custom extends back to the earliest days of the Church, when the Saints’ tombs served as Altars for the Eucharist, signifying their intercession and their presence in the “Communion of Saints.”
First-class Relics were placed in our two Altars by Bishop Cozzens as part of the Consecration Rites on Sunday, May 22, 2016. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton was placed under the high Altar, and Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos under our renovated Altar of Sacrifice.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) was Canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975, the first American-born citizen to be “raised to the Altars,” and the patron saint of Catholic education in the United States. Wife, mother, widow, convert to the Catholic faith, foundress of the first order of American teaching sisters, familiar with both riches and poverty, she is a model for trust in God amidst the trials of life.
Fr. Baer has had a life-long devotion to “Mother Seton,” extending back to the prayers of many children in Baltimore – where she lived for a time and established her first schools -- for a final miracle needed for her sainthood.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for our Parish and be our Catholic School’s patroness!
Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos (1819-1867) was a German-born Redemptorist Priest who served as pastor and missionary in several locations throughout the United States. He was noted for his charity and humility, and for his gift for leading many to the Catholic Faith through his preaching.
He died in New Orleans of yellow fever while caring for victims of the epidemic. He was Beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in 2000.