New tabernacle because of security concerns

5 Dooley blessing


A newly-installed tabernacle in the Moran Chapel in Dunedin was recently blessed by Bishop Michael Dooley, and this was followed by the celebration of Benediction.

A gathering of 30 regular participants in the 40 Hours adoration were there to witness the event.

gThere has been growing concern about security issues at the chapel, especially if a rostered volunteer is delayed or is unable to be there at their appointed hour and the monstrance with the consecrated host is left unattended on the altar.

As the chapel is on the ground floor of the Moran Building in the Octagon in Dunedin city, it is relatively easy for anybody to wander in. There have been a few instances of minor disturbances in recent times.  

Last year, it was decided to investigate a method whereby the Blessed Sacrament could be available on display during the rostered 40 hours, but totally secure.

This led to the sourcing of a purpose-built tabernacle from the United States.

It is designed with a solid lockable door with a special secure compartment into which the Blessed Sacrament can be placed in a similar manner to a monstrance.

A movable metal disc can be rotated out of the way to expose the Blessed Sacrament for adoration display behind a glass front, similar to a monstrance.  

The new tabernacle has been set up directly in front of the original tabernacle. A solid kauri shelf has been firmly attached to the former tabernacle and the new tabernacle bolted into place on the shelf.

Adoration participant June Steele produced a finely embroidered cloth to adorn the shelf.  

Other participants and well-wishers have contributed to the cost involved in obtaining the tabernacle.

The initial cost of the item itself was $4000, but there were additional costs with shipping and customs.

Further contributions would be welcomed and could be directed to Garth Lucas of the Dunedin law firm Lucas and Lucas located in the Moran Building.

Those who attended the blessing ceremony expressed their satisfaction at the solution to the concerns that had been simmering in recent times.

The weekly 40-hour adoration started again in early February, with the hope that more people will join the list to spend an hour in silent worship.

NZ Catholic contributor

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