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Archives From One St. Patrick’s to Another

March 15, 2023

By Darcy Fargo

BRASHER FALLS – After a decade in storage, the altar of repose from a now-closed church has new life in a church with the same name.

According to Father Shane M. Lynch, pastor of Parish of the Visitation and St. Raymond in Norfolk, St. Andrew’s Church in Norwood, and St. Patrick’s Church in Brasher Falls, the altar of repose formerly housed in St. Patrick’s Church in Hogansburg is now installed in St. Patrick’s Church in Brasher Falls.

“It’s been sitting in the garage for 10 years,” said Father Lynch.

Father Martin E. Cline was the last pastor to serve in the Hogansburg church. His connections to the St. Patrick’s in Brasher Falls led to the initial development of the idea to move the altar of repose from the closed church to Brasher Falls.

“(Father Cline) is from Brasher, and both churches have St. Patrick as their patrons,” said Father Lynch.

Though the altar of repose was transported 10 years ago, the initial plan was to keep it in storage until the next renovation of the interior of St. Patrick’s in Brasher Falls.

“Our parish council knew it was in the garage,” Father Lynch said. “If there was any interior work in that church, it was going to be included in that work. Interior work is a ways off, though.”

The altar of repose was going to need a new home, though, as the rectory and garage at St. Patrick’s in Brasher Falls are being sold.

“Talking with our council last fall, we discussed the altar of repose and whether or not we wanted to get it put in,” the pastor said. “The consensus was ‘absolutely.’ I got the proposals together and the cost, and I brought that to the council, and they approved it.”

One of the major challenges in getting the altar of repose installed in its new home was finding a contractor who could handle the work.

“We had a contractor out of Georgia who had initially removed it and crated it and brought it to St. Patrick’s (in Brasher Falls),” Father Lynch said. “We looked for local options, but there weren’t any. We reached out to that company from Georgia, and they did the work installing it.”

Because of the altar of repose’s age and because it had been in storage after transportation, some work was needed to restore it.

“They repaired a few chips and cracks,” Father Lynch said. “And they got it all cleaned and polished and put together. It’s roughly 2,000 pounds of material.”

The larger altar of repose also displaced a mosaic cross with a resurrected Jesus that was previously in the sanctuary.

“It wasn’t in conformity with liturgical norms,” Father Lynch said. “With permission from the bishop, we removed that cross.

Father Lynch said he was pleased with the finished installation.

“It looks nice in there,” he said. “And it’s nice that it’s not just sitting in a garage.”

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