January 18, 2019
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Bishop Deeley Blesses New Ascension Chapel in York

Community Author: Dave Guthro, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
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YORK—Where once stood bank teller transaction stations and customer service desks, Bishop Robert P. Deeley blessed water to purify the walls of a new chapel in York.

“May all here today and all those in days to come, who will celebrate your mysteries in this chapel, be united in the holy city of your peace,” prayed Bishop Deeley before sprinkling parishioners and their new worship space with holy water.

The Mass on Tuesday evening, Jan. 16, was the culmination of months of dedication put forth by the clergy and parishioners of the Parish of the Ascension of the Lord, who had hoped for a chapel to help lessen heating costs at the much larger St. Christopher Church on Barrell Lane.

The new Ascension Chapel stands in the shadow of St. Christopher, directly across York Street, and will be used for daily Mass and adoration during the winter months.

The structure is not new, having been built in 1972. Since, it has housed several different banks, most recently serving as a branch of Bangor Savings Bank before it moved to a new location on Route 1.

“It was very nice to see an existing building being turned into a chapel,” said Bill Green, business manager for the Parish of the Ascension of the Lord. “The tabernacle was from St. Ignatius in Sanford and the crucifix is from Peru and was donated by Joyce Leblanc. The candle holders were donated by Teresa and Michael Palumbo.”

The generosity of parishioners and the local community continued after the purchase of the building was finalized. The Knights of Columbus assisted with many projects associated with the renovation. In September, a massive service project conducted by the parish’s youth ministry drew middle school students, high school students and their parents to trim the bushes surrounding the building, rehabilitate old flower beds, and clear a large amount of brush.

Their efforts, combined with the interior work, led to the completion of the new chapel and the long-awaited moment of the bishop blessing it.

“May all who gather here in faith to listen to your word and celebrate your sacraments, experience the presence of Christ, who promised to be with those gathered in his name,” said the bishop.

Concelebrating the Mass with the bishop on Tuesday were Fr. Scott Mower, the pastor of the parish, and Fr. Amandus Sway, AJ, parochial vicar of the parish.

Before the Liturgy of the Eucharist, Bishop Deeley blessed the chapel’s altar as a grateful assembly looked on.

“Let us ask God to look kindly on the Church’s offering placed upon it and to receive his people as an everlasting gift.”