"What a special day this is for Our Lady of Victory and for all of us." said Bishop Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo, as he prepared to anoint the new altar at Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna on Sunday afternoon.
"This glorious Basilica and also the Baker Victory Services that are all around this Basilica are iconic of a full response to the Lord's commandments to 'Love the Lord God with everything in us, and to love our neighbor as ourselves," said Bishop Malone. "This beautiful temple, the altar of which we consecrate today, is all about our giving God our response to his love and praise and gratitude. All the works of social and human and educational services that are Baker Victory Services are about the fulfillment of that call to love other people. All of this is the living legacy of Father Baker."
Monsignor Paul J.E. Burkard, Pastor of Our Lady of Victory, noted that the church has had a temporary altar for the past 30 years. "In this Year of Mercy, it is most fitting that we dedicate this new altar on which the Great Mystery of God's mercy is celebrated each day," said Monsignor Burkard.
The altar was designed and constructed by Jon Trabucco, of Trabucco Studio in Clarence, NY. Jon is a parishioner at Our Lady of Victory who designed the altar to match the late Renaissance artistry of the Basilica.
After placing relics of Venerable Nelson Baker in an opening of the altar, Bishop Malone delivered the following Prayer of Dedication, before anointing the new altar:
"Father, we praise you and give you thanks for you have established the Sacrament of true worship by bringing to perfection in Christ the mystery of the one true altar prefigured in those many altars of old. Noah, the second father of the human race, once the waters fell and the mountains peaked again, built an altar in your name. You Lord were appeased by his fragrant offering and your rainbow bore witness to a covenant founded in love. Abraham, our father in faith wholeheartedly accepted your word and constructed an altar on which to slay Isaac, his only son. But you Lord stayed his hand and provided a ram for his offering. Moses, mediator of the old law, built an altar on which was cast the blood of a lamb, so prefiguring the altar of the prophets. All this Christ has fulfilled on the paschal mystery. As priest and victim, he freely mounted the tree of the cross and gave himself to you Father as the one perfect oblation. In his sacrifice, the New Covenant is sealed. Lord, we therefore stand before you in prayer. Bless this altar built on the house of your Church, that it may ever be reserved for the sacrifice of Christ and stand forever as the Lord's table, where your people will find nourishment and strength. Make this altar a sign of Christ, from whose pierced side flowed blood and water, ushering in the Sacraments of our Church. Make it a table of joy where the friends of Christ may hasten to cat upon you their burdens and cares and take up their journey restored. Make it a place of Communion and peace so that those who share the body and blood of your son may be filled with his spirit and grow in your life of love. Make it a source of unity and friendship where your people may gather as one to share your spirit of mutual love. Make it the center of our creation thanksgiving until we arrive at the eternal tabernacle, where together with Christ, our priest and living altar, we will offer you an everlasting sacrifice of praise. We ask this through Jesus Christ your son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, Amen."