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Bishop consecrates altar at St. Martin

Posted By July 2, 2017 | 5:12 pm | Featured Article #2
Bishop McManus spreads the oil of chrism on the altar at St. Martin Mission Church Sunday. Altar servers John Scheurer and Anthony Krestyn are seated to the left; Deacon Richard Tatro (seated) and Father Marcin Nowicki, pastor, are on the right.  

Photo by Jeff Collins
Bishop McManus spreads the oil of chrism on the altar at St. Martin Mission Church Sunday. Altar servers John Scheurer and Anthony Krestyn are seated to the left; Deacon Richard Tatro (seated) and Father Marcin Nowicki, pastor, are on the right.   Photo by Jeff Collins

By Patricia Gale | Special to The Catholic free press

OTTER RIVER – Bishop McManus consecrated the altar at St. Martin Mission Church Sunday.
St. Martin’s has a new oak altar, baptism font, ambo, and tabernacle table, all designed and built by Robert LeMieur, of Holy Cross Parish in Templeton. St. Martin’s is a mission of Holy Cross.
The relic of St. Martin of Tours was transferred into the new altar when it was placed in the sanctuary. The relic had been in the previous altar, which was installed after Vatican Council II.
As part of the sanctuary renewal that is under way at St. Martin’s, parishioner James Alie Jr. crafted an ambry to hold the holy oils, and Matthew Brooks painted a 3-foot-by-4-foot image of St. Martin of Tours, which has been hung at a side altar. Mr. Brooks attends Mass at St. Martin’s regularly, but it was Father Marcin Nowicki, the pastor, who “discovered” him and asked him to create this painting. He has done many religious paintings and several years ago published a book of them.
A tabernacle more than a century old is currently being refurbished to replace the mid-20th century one. The antique tabernacle was used at St. Martin’s prior to the post-Vatican II “modernization” and has been in storage for decades.
St. Martin’s was the first Catholic Church in the greater Gardner area, and is recognized as the “mother church” of 15 parishes.
Otter River is a village in the town of Templeton. The first Mass in the town was celebrated outdoors in 1851, and construction began on the church soon after. The church opened in 1853 and has undergone a number of renovations, including the addition of the sanctuary, bell tower and vestibule and installation of stained glass windows.