A night of celebration on the streets of Corona capped off a rededication celebration at Our Lady of Sorrows Church Oct. 1, nearly two years after it was extensively damaged by fire.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who visited the parish family on the morning of the blaze, returned last Saturday to rededicate the newly renovated church and install Father Raymond P. Roden as pastor during an afternoon Mass celebrated in Spanish and English. An outdoor street party followed.
“We are the church,” the bishop told the congregation. “This is our church where our family gathers to pray. Never forget this renovated church is here for us. After the fire, it is all new.”
Parishioner Miriam Auquilla marveled at the newness, turning her head and eyes in every direction.
“Oh my God, it is so beautiful,” she said. “I can’t believe it. It’s different. Nice. Very, very nice.”
Her sentiments echoed those of several hundred attendees, who filled the church to capacity. The overflow crowd found seats in the school hall and an outdoor tent, both equipped with screens to broadcast the Mass. Hundreds more lined the church steps, sidewalks and streets for the two-and-a-half-hour event.
Longtime parishioners were happy to see Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros, a former pastor, present along with 20 priests, several deacons and altar servers.
Bishop DiMarzio conducted the rededication rite, which included a litany of the saints, a prayer of dedication, the anointing and incensing of the altar and the illumination of the church, which garnered sustained applause.
He also blessed and placed within the altar relics of Blessed Miguel Pro and Saints Christopher Magallanes, Maria Goretti, Frances Cabrini, Philip Neri and Teresa of Calcutta.
Reflecting on the parish’s journey over the last 21 months, Father Roden said, “It was really God’s providence that pulled it together.”
Few people were in church when a fire began just before 6 a.m. Mass… CLICK HERE to see rest of article and additional pictures.