January 16, 2015
Father Ed Steiner, at top left photo, rector of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, and Deacon Jim McKenzie, episcopal master of ceremonies for the diocese, pray a Litany of Saints before placing a box of relics in the new marble altar at the Cathedral during the 12:10 p.m. Mass on Jan. 7. The box contained three first class relics and a second class relic, a piece of a habit worn by St. Katherine Drexel, who founded schools in the Diocese of Nashville. The first-class relics that were placed in the sealed box inside the new altar include bone fragments of Saints Athanasius the Great, Benignus of Dijon, and Eulalia of Barcelona. These first-class relics have been part of various altars at the Cathedral since 1909. After the Jan. 7 Mass, Father Steiner invited members of the congregation up to the altar to inspect it and see how the relics were placed inside. Stone masons finished the project after Mass by installing the altar top, called the mensa. The new altar is made of Italian marble and weighs approximately 3,000 pounds. At bottom right photo, Joe Giovannetti, of the Giovannetti Marble Company works on some final details of the altar instillation. Bishop David Choby dedicated the new altar on Monday, January 19 at the 12:10 pm Mass. The altar project, which also includes a new marble pulpit and cathedra (bishop’s chair), was a diocesan wide effort, and all are invited to attend the dedication.