Sunday, February 6 was a joyous day for parishioners at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Fuquay-Varina as the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge was present to dedicate the recently expanded Church building. In the last 15 years, the parish has grown considerably. In 1999, the faith community completed construction on a 600 seat facility, only to outgrow it shortly thereafter. The expanded building now seats 1,000. Every pew was filled at the 11:30 Dedication Mass, with chairs put up in the foyer to accommodate another 100. Bishop Burbidge noted that the entire Diocese joined in the celebration of the new addition, which is the third and final step in the parish community’s new construction.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge described the significance of the rites of dedication in consecrating the building as “God’s dwelling.” In the blessing of the water, the Bishop said, our unity is reflected, asking the faithful to “continue to celebrate the great diversity of your parish community while always reflecting our oneness in Christ.”
In the Prayer of Dedication, Bishop Burbidge said, we are reminded that “Christ is our cornerstone, the One who sustains us and holds us up.” In the Gospel of the day, Bishop Burbidge added, we are reminded to be “His light in the world. To do so, we must serve one another.” The Bishop commended St. Bernadette for its great outreach to people in need. “Please continue your great work so those in darkness will recognize the healing and compassionate love of Christ in their midst.”
Concelebrating the Mass were Father Fernando Torres, Pastor of St. Bernadette, and Father Robert Staley and Father Chesco Garcia-Gonzalez, Parochial Vicars.
In a reflection written for the dedication, Father Torres explained that the Church is adorned with seventy-two stained-glass windows. He wrote, “They remind us of the number of disciples that Jesus sent to proclaim His Kingdom of justice, truth and light. This is why we ask God to bless this place. So, that the light of Christ illuminates our hearts, so that we may go out to the world and give testimony of His great mercy.”
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge accepting the architectural plans of the new construction at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Fuquay-Varina from Mr. Roger Cannon, architect of the project.
Above: Side view of expanded sanctuary of St. Bernadette Church, which now seats 1,000 people.
Above: Dressing of the altar following Incessation of the altar and church by Bishop Burbidge.