live: Oklahoma coronavirus confirmed cases: 1,327; 51 deadHeadlights for Hope event planned for OKC hospital

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Catholic Charities' new chapel highlights 'Church' within agency

Maria Wallace of Oklahoma City, president of the Catholic Charities board of directors, said she was excited to see the chapel project come to fruition.

"This has truly been a glorious day for us beause it has been a work for such a long time. It  is a day that is really big in our hearts," said Wallace, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

She said the new chapel seemed more like a church than the chapel housed within the nonprofit's former location.

"It just shows the heart of God," Wallace said.

Sonny Wilkinson, a spokesman for Catholic Charities, said the former chapel included seating for about 30 people and the new chapel will seat about 80. 

The chapel includes a large skylight over the altar area as well as  six windows on an outer wall.  Wallace said these clear panes will soon be replaced with stained glass. A painting of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, known worldwide as Mother Teresa, adorned one wall while a painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe adorned another wall.

The chapel's most striking feature is a large crucifix displayed behind the altar, along with the phrase "I Thirst" spoken by Jesus, as chronicled in Scripture. The Rev. Stephen Bird, director of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City's office of worship and spiritual life and pastor of Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, said local wood was  used to craft the cross while the wood carving of Jesus, also known as the corpus, was made in Italy. 

Wilkinson said the holy water fonts featured in the chapel came from Spain as well as the tabernacle, a container which houses consecrated hosts. Wilkinson said the chapel was designed in a fashion similar to the chapels of Mother Teresa's religious orders "to bring more of her." He said the stained glass windows will include images representing the different works of mercy. 

In March, Pope Francis said Mother Teresa will be canonized on Sept. 4. Coakley said the chapel's name will be changed shortly afterward to reflect her sainthood.  Mother Teresa died in 1997 at age 87. 

Carla Hinton

Religion Editor

Related Photos
<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a0266ade556fc33a00ddf6371a8ca2d5.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3d13d7683ce17e025852865126b3caf8.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3d13d7683ce17e025852865126b3caf8.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1188ac354a326c9e70f361a950a42461.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure>
Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

Comments