IHM Chapel Grand Opening

This is a press release sent to local media outlets announcing the Solemn Mass that marks the grand opening of IHM Chapel. Thank you, Benefactors!

Following the press release are a few facts about the new IHM Chapel that may be of interest to our readers.

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The Saint Benedict Center, administered by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, joyfully announces the first High Mass in the recently completed IHM Chapel in Richmond, N.H. The Mass will take place on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, August 22, at 9:30 AM. A reception in the Center’s Saint Joseph’s Hall will follow. Call 603-239-6485 or visit catholicism.org/contactus for directions or further information.

The Mass will be a Solemn Mass in the traditional Latin Rite (“Extraordinary Form”) celebrated by Monsignor Daniel O. Lamothe, who will also preach the sermon. Father David Phillipson, the Center’s chaplain, and Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M., the Center’s Prior, will serve as Deacon and Subdeacon respectively. The Sisters of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will provide the music for the ceremony. A Knights of Columbus Honor Guard will add to the solemnity.

The Solemn Mass is the most elaborate form of the traditional Roman Mass a priest may offer, complete with incense, bells, processions, torches, numerous altar servers, and Gregorian Chant.

The ceremony is free and open to the public. Modest dress and decorum befitting a sacred place is required.

Brother André Marie, Prior of Saint Benedict Center, made the following comment: “This ceremony has been a long time in the making. Now that it is upon us, our hearts are grateful to God the Father for this opportunity to adore Him through His Son and in the Holy Ghost, as we honor the Immaculate Virgin Mary in the traditional rites of Holy Mother Church. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our loyal benefactors, who have supported us amid many contradictions, all for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The Brothers and Sisters of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the many families associated with Saint Benedict Center, our school children, as well as all our visitors and guests, will now have a more worthy edifice in which to worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:23). We also take this opportunity to thank the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, for his pastoral solicitude in defending and promoting the rights of the Catholic faithful to worship in the traditional rites — those beautiful and timeless ceremonies to which we are so attached. The intention for which this Mass is offered will be for all the benefactors, living and deceased, who helped us build this chapel.”


A few interesting facts about IHM Chapel:

  • Thanks to just over 400 donors, we have raised about ½ million dollars to date.
  • There are almost 5000 stars on the ceiling, hand-applied by volunteers. Seven are from northern-hemisphere constellations and four southern. These are all thematic in honor of the Redemption, Resurrection, the soul, triumph over evil, and members of the Holy Family.
  • The pews are from St. Kieran’s Parish (Archdiocese of Pittsburgh), which was closed in 1993.
  • The pulpit is from Star of the Sea Parish (Archdiocese of Boston), which was closed in 2004.
  • The altar and side shrine pedestals are from Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke, MA, whose chapel was closed.
  • The altar rail, refurbished by local artisans, is from Kansas.
  • The sanctuary gates are from Europe by way of Phoenix, AZ.
  • When all the interior appointments are completed, the chapel will have carved wooden statuary from Portugal, other statues from Peru, and materials and trims from Italy and India. A studio in Spain and artisans from Poland and Romania have also worked on the project.
  • The sanctuary boasts an original oil-on-canvas of Sister Lucy’s “Tuy Vision” by Renate Rohn of Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Planning for this chapel commenced Christmas of 2000. Ground was broken on August 14, 2012.
  • Among the unique memorials are the following:
    • A genuine Cedar of Lebanon in honor of Brother Francis and Sister Mary Bernadette.
    • A pew in memory of a Catholic military man, who was killed in action in Korea.
    • Stars in the ceiling for family members who have fallen away from the faith.
    • The wood for all the trim was donated by Cersosimo Lumber in memory of Tony Cersosimo.