Baptizing a chapel into new life

Jun 9, 2023
The stained glass above the tabernacle at Annunciation Catholic Church illustrates the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All of the stained glass was created by Conrad Pickel Studio in Vero Beach. (GLENDA MEEKINS)

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS | Walking into The Chapel of the Angels at Annunciation Parish, one is struck by the beauty of the marble path leading to the monstrance, surrounded in sky blue, harkening to our destination, heaven. Crowned above is a domed stained glass illustrating the “The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary”.

Guests, parishioners, clergy and those assisting in the recreation of the Adoration chapel at Annunciation Parish, came in joy to celebrate the Feast of the Visitation, May 31, and the blessing of the remodeled chapel by Bishop John Noonan.

To the right of those seated, three stained glass windows adorn the wall, depicting the Annunciation, birth of Christ and Assumption of Mary.

“Today is a Baptism, but not of a child or an adult,” said Bishop Noonan. “It’s a Baptism of something very special for all of us. It’s the renewal of our own Baptism. It’s a Baptism into a relationship.”

He recalls Mary receiving the news from the angel Gabriel that she is to conceive the Son of God. Stunned, the young Mary says ‘yes’ and goes to visit Elizabeth. He noted, “The beautiful scene shows Elizabeth greeting Mary, ‘Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’ she says. Then Elizabeth feels the child stirring in her womb.”

He said that is what the faithful had come to celebrate. “Mary’s life with Jesus and her relationship to Him in a very special way… As you come into this chapel, you’re coming, like Mary came to Elizabeth, asking the Lord to be with you.”

Asking those present to ask the Lord to come into their own lives and accept that gift as does the Virgin Mary, proclaiming, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in Him,” he tells them to take notice of the “beautiful but humble words, surrendering her life to the presence of Christ.”

“We start off with Mary’s ‘yes’ and end with Jesus saying, ‘Take this all of you and eat it.’ Do we accept it and proclaim it like Mary?” he asked.

Father Ivan Olmo, pastor of Annunciation Parish, noted The Chapel of the Angels also honors Mother Mary, “because of the guests she brings – Joseph the father of the Church, the Holy Spirit which ignites so much joy, and Mary who brings Christ.”

Father Olmo hopes the chapel will eventually be open for perpetual Adoration. Currently, it is open select hours during the week.

Baptizing a chapel into new life

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic staff, June 9, 2023