Faith Matters: A window, a garden and an angel

  • Rev. Robert Koerber stands in the Holy Name of Jesus Church at 15 Thayer St. in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • Rev. Robert Koerber stands in the Holy Name of Jesus Church at 15 Thayer St. in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • The Rev. Robert Koerber stands in the Holy Name of Jesus Church at 15 Thayer St. in South Deerfield. Staff Photo/Andy Castillo

  • The Holy Name of Jesus Church on Thayer St in South Deerfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz PAUL FRANZ

Pastor, Holy Name of Jesus PNC Church
Published: 8/23/2019 10:00:27 PM
Modified: 8/23/2019 10:00:13 PM

(Each Saturday, a faith leader in Franklin County offers a personal perspective in this space. To become part of this series, email religion@recorder.com)

On Aug. 25, 1929, the newly formed Holy Name of Jesus PNC Church celebrated its First Mass at the Red Men’s Hall in South Deerfield. Then on Sunday, May 4, 1930, the first Mass in a newly constructed Church on Thayer Street was celebrated. How remarkable that this new church was built in less than nine months from its first Mass and was built mostly by Polish immigrants during the first year of the Great Depression. Many years have passed since then and as we celebrate our 90th anniversary this Sunday, I would like to share three small aspects of this celebration. They are a window, a garden and an angel.

A WINDOW: We know that when we look through a window, we are looking at the present. All of our windows have the names inscribed of many of our first families. But there is another window, our main stained-glass window, located above the entrance of our Church, which serves as a reminder to all who come to visit and worship, a glimpse into our past. In 2018, this special window was severely damaged and is currently being restored. While we had hoped to re-dedicate this window on our 90th Anniversary, it was not meant to be.

A GARDEN: A garden has always been associated as a place of growth and beauty. Ever since man first cultivated the earth, there has always been a garden. In the Book of Genesis 2:15 we read that “the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” From this “Garden of Eden” to the vision of Saint John of a “New Jerusalem,” a garden has been associated as a place of rest, comfort, as well as a place for prayer, and reflection. It should be stated that there has been a garden at Holy Name of Jesus for some time. Surrounding our garden, fruit trees have been planted over the years by Feed Yourself Edibles of Northampton which has added to its beauty. One night, during an Adult Bible Study group, a discussion took place about how we could add to this garden and what we could add as its centerpiece. It was decided that a statue of an angel be chosen.

AN ANGEL: It is said that an angel is a celestial being and an intermediary between God and man. Angels always have had a most special place in Holy Scriptures. They are referred to in the Old Testament as the “holy ones,” in the New Testament as the “angels of the Lord” and “messengers” as found in Islam. In a recent Associated Press poll, it is said that 8 out of 10 adults believe in angels. It also showed that 77 percent of all adults believe that angels are real and that 88 percent of all Christians, 95 percent of evangelicals and 94 percent of all those who attend religious services believe in angels. But this belief in angels is also found among the less religious. A majority of non-Christians think angels do exist, and more than four in 10 of those who never attend religious services believe in angels.

This year, we have been blessed to have dear friends from our Tibetan community who have volunteered their time and labor to add beautiful stonework for our Angel garden. It is our hope that this garden may bring all those who come and visit, peace and tranquility.

So, as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of our beloved Church, we remember our history, our heritage and all those who gave us a holy place where God and man could come together. Though a window, a garden and an angel represents but a small portion of our celebration, we remember that the Lord has called His disciples to work in His vineyard. It is our hope that all who come and visit our church may reflect on the importance of a window, a garden and an angel and find comfort and blessings in their lives from God, which is the most precious gift of all.

About Holy Name of Jesus PNC Church

Holy Name of Jesus PNC Church is at 15 Thayer St. in South Deerfield. Holy Mass is at 9 a.m. on Sundays. We are a family-oriented church established in 1929 by a community of parishioners whose legacy of spiritual freedom is still with us after 80 years.

We are a democratic, non-papal Catholic parish, family-oriented, with a Liturgical worship style. Follow us on Facebook. 413-665-2129.




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