In its renewed beauty, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church (OLMM) is a testament of the living hearts of Mary and Jesus beating in salvation of the people, said Auxiliary Bishop James Massa.
The bishop joined OLMM March 3 for a special blessing. The Ridgewood church has undergone major interior renovations including restorations of murals, mending of all cracks and signs of age and a beautiful paint job to match the colors of Mary in the stained glass windows along with patterns and designs.
“Congratulations on the beautiful restoration of the church,” said Bishop Massa during his homily at the celebratory Mass. “Father Anthony [Sansone] would never have led you in this Generation of Faith Campaign if he, if you, did not believe that the hearts of Mary and Jesus were not here.”
Bishop Massa explained his devotion to the Miraculous Medal, the patroness of the Church and the symbolism of the hearts of Mary and Jesus on the back of the medal.
He said that the state of the broken world is akin to arrhythmia. Just like a patient suffering from a physical heart beating irregularly, the hearts of humanity are beating away from God’s rhythm.
“Faith is like a pacemaker,” Bishop Massa said, healing a sinful world.
The pastor, Father Anthony Sansone, said he wanted to help enrich the souls of all that come to the church and meditate on its asthetic beauty. Every nook, cranny and every angle of the church has something to discover, something to meditate upon and ultimately something that can bring people closer to God. Father Sansone said the eye is a link to the soul, because what people see can strengthen the state of their souls.
At the end of Mass, the pastor thanked all parishioners, current and past, who contributed to the effort.
The project was part of the Generations of Faith Campaign, a diocesan effort to raise funds for youth ministry, the care of elderly priests and specific parish projects. Father Sansone said the parishioners exceeded with their generous support of the campaign’s goal, which began in 2016. Since meeting their fundraising goal, the parish was able to receive more back than at first anticipated.
Then, once the restoration began in June of 2017, parishioners continued to contribute to the renovation effort.
The parishioner’s dedication to their church translated to a real difference, said Henry Gargiulo, the owner of Artisan Inc., who did the work of renovating the worship space. He said his crew was able to do everything the right way, not cutting any corners and ensuring that each detail spoke to the glory of God.
“If you do this job and if you do it with love, it tells a story,” Gargiulo said. “It shows that the Church is alive.”
The bishop blessed all the young people present, who were so numerous they had trouble all fitting behind the communion rail.