New chapel is ‘heart and soul' of Seton School

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Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde joined students and teachers at Seton School in Manassas April 4 to celebrate the dedication of the "heart and soul" of the school, an ornate new chapel dedicated to Our Lady Queen of the Angels.

Students, teachers and friends of the school filled the chapel to capacity during the two-hour long Mass. The bishop deposited a first-class relic of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton into the altar, then poured oil over the marble, rubbing it in for the anointing.

"We rejoice in the dedication of this altar and chapel and give thanks to God for those whose generosity made it come about. Even as we do so, we are strengthened to be spiritual altars," Bishop Loverde said, noting the call for Catholics to offer "spiritual sacrifices" of daily witness, evangelization and help for the poor.

The bishop was joined at the Mass by Father Lee R. Roos, pastor of All Saints Church in Manassas; Father Thomas P. Vander Woude, pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville and an alumnus of the school; Father Paul F. de Ladurantaye, diocesan secretary for religious education; Father Robert J. Wagner, secretary to the bishop; Father Noah C. Morey, parochial vicar at All Saints; and Deacons Brian R. Majewski and James R. Van de Voorde, both "Seton dads."

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The chapel is decorated with an enormous fresco depicting Our Lady, Queen of the Angels, and a symbolic blue and burgundy ceiling accented by stars and columns representing humanity's role in the church. The school has ambitious plans for additional improvements: more stained glass windows, a statue of St. Joseph and a fresco of St. Michael at the back of the chapel.

It is an "incarnational chapel" meant to remind students of God's mercy, said Anne Carroll, founder of the school, during remarks at the end of Mass.

"In the midst of a culture of ugliness, we need to be reminded of His beauty," she said.

Students at Seton School sing at the dedication of the school's new chapel.Posted by Arlington Catholic Herald on  Monday, April 4, 2016

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016