Cherished chalices

Jun 1, 2023
From left: Father Edgar Serrano, Father Zachary Parker and Father Ángel García with their chalices. (LANA KACZMAREK)

ORLANDO | As is tradition, deacons to be ordained to the Order of Priest celebrate vespers, the evening prior to ordination with their families, friends and guests. At this holy time of prayer, Bishop John Noonan blessed each of the then deacons’ chalices. Earlier that day, they shared the origin of their chalices with the Diocese of Orlando.

Father Edgar Serrano comes from St. Mary Parish in Rockledge. His chalice was made in Medellín, Colombia, gifted to him by his family. He proudly called it “a piece of art.” The chalice is made from a technique called “sera perdida” or lost wax, then is transformed into bronze. The focal scene is the Last Supper, ending in the crucifixion of Christ. At its base is Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman and another of the Good Shepherd – “the identity of the priest.” His paten carries the symbol of the fish and the bread, symbolizing the “multiplicity of the Eucharist and our Catholic faith.”

Father Zachary Parker, from Church of the Epiphany Parish in Port Orange, shared the personal history behind his chalice. Made by his late grandfather, Robert Gilpatrick, who passed in 2020 from COVID, the chalice was handmade of silver, sycamore and redheart wood. His grandfather gave Father Parker the chalice just before he died.

“It’s very sentimental for me and very beautiful because he was really inspired by the story of Zacchaeus in the (sycamore) tree.” The redheart wood symbolizes Jesus and His sacred heart meet us wherever we are.” The bottom of the chalice has a cross symbolizing it is through the cross from which the precious blood is offered for the world.

Father Ángel García’s chalice is a gift from families at his parish, Holy Redeemer in Kissimmee. He noted, “It is the fruit of the labor of the families at Holy Redeemer.” It is simple, with small ornate sections leading to various medallions depicting the Holy Family, the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph and the Lord Jesus Christ. The bottom bears an inscription noting the gift is from the Holy Redeemer Spanish community, his name and ordination date.

Click here to watch the men talk about their chalices.

By Glenda Meekins, June 1, 2023