Home to weekly Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, club/team Masses, retreats, Advent and Lenten services and personal prayer, the chapel at Trinity High School in Camp Hill is spiritually and physically the heart of the school.
On May 18, Bishop Ronald Gainer blessed the renovated chapel – original to the 1963 building – during a Mass attended by dozens of members of the school community.
Students, faculty and alumni looked on as the bishop blessed the new tabernacle, altar, ambo and presider’s chair, fashioned by Patrick Pray. A member of St. Bernard Parish in New Bloomfield, Pray was formerly a member of St. Joseph Parish in Mechanicsburg, just a few miles from Trinity.
“There are so many things vying for attention in the school budget, but it says an awful lot that your school, your principal Mr. John Cominsky and the board of directors have made this a priority,” Bishop Gainer told those gathered for the Mass. “This chapel is the heart of this high school. Everything radiates from this chapel and spreads throughout the entire school.”
“We must not just look at these beautiful new furnishings, but look through them as well. That is where we see the mystery of our faith. Through the readings we hear the Word of God…. The Lord does not just inform us, he transforms us with His Word. What we do at this altar unites us. Heaven and earth are united at this new altar,” he said.
The chapel will also feature four icons of the patron saints of Trinity’s new House program: De la Salle, Immaculata, Loyola and Seton. The House program places students, faculty and staff into the different groups as a means of bolstering school spirit and camaraderie.
“With our new House system, and other programs being offered by the campus ministry office, we are seeing an increase in the use of the chapel for communal and private prayer,” said Scott Root, Campus Minister. “The chapel’s beauty should recognize the presence of God and help one to be more comfortable entering into prayer.”
The refurbished chapel also includes new carpet and repaired stained-glass windows. Future efforts include refurbished pews, new vessels and altar appointments, and icons of Trinity’s supporting parishes.
“As a school community, we are looking at ways to maintain and improve what we have. The administration and board wanted to make the chapel the focus of renovations because it is where the source and summit of our community – Jesus, in his Eucharistic form – is present to us,” Root said.
New crucifixes in the gym, cafeteria and auditorium lobby, as well as icons of the Gospel writers and Trinity’s House patrons, also grace the school, Root said.
“Our goal is that all who enter our school know that we are Catholic – by what they see on our walls and more importantly what they see and experience by interacting with our students and staff,” he said.
(Learn more about Trinity High School at www.thsrocks.us.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness