A two-year dream of SM Modesta Piwowar became a reality on Tuesday, September 11.
During a conversation with Dave Spivey, president and CEO of St. Mary Mercy Livonia (SML), Sister voiced a request that the Our Lady of Częstochowa Chapel be renovated to match the rest of the hospital.
The ground breaking ceremony took place on November 3, with the hope that the new chapel would be ready in the spring of 2018. However, weather and special order materials for the chapel delayed the completion of the $2.5 million project.
September 10 marked the beginning of a two-day celebration for the dedication of the new St. Mary Chapel. After the morning Mass, the altar was decommissioned and the tabernacle emptied in preparation for the next day’s dedication of the new chapel.
Later that evening, approximately 80 priests, Felician Sisters, benefactors, friends, daily Mass participants and medical/hospital staff gathered for a Solemn Vespers and Cornerstone ceremony.
SM Cynthia Ann Machlik, SM Theresann Zywicki, SM Eucharita Wisk, SM Joyce Van de Vyver, SM Renetta Rumpz,
S Victoria Marie Indyk and Sister Modesta represented all of the Felician Sisters who ministered at the hospital since its opening in 1959.
S Mary Ann Smith led the Vespers Service. The voices of the Felician choir, led by Sister Cynthia Ann, echoed one last time in the chapel, which has served the spiritual needs of the Felician Sisters, physicians, employees, volunteers, visitors and the local community since 1972.
Following the closing hymn, Father Gilbert Sunghera, SJ, led the silent procession to the door of the new
St. Mary Chapel where the relic of Blessed Mary Angela Truskowska was placed near the tabernacle for the next day’s placement in the floor under the new altar.
Sister Modesta, Father Luke Iwuji, chaplain, Sister Renetta, and representatives from Grainger Construction Company and PLY+ Architectural Firm proceeded outside for the blessing and sealing of the cornerstone. A time capsule was placed behind the cornerstone before it was sealed.
With the sun shining brightly on the morning of September 11, approximately 150 guests gathered for the Dedication of the St. Mary Chapel. The Most Reverend Gerard Battersby, auxiliary bishop of Detroit, officiated at the ceremony with the two hospital chaplains Father Luke and Father Peter Ben Opara along with three other priests — Father Timothy Babcock, Father Jude Inweregbu and Father Charles Nwo.
Twenty-two Felician Sisters participated in the Rite of Blessing. SM Jolene Jasinski, S Michelle Marie Stachowiak and S Janet Marie Adamczyk represented the provincial leadership team at this great event.
In his homily, Bishop Battersby spoke about how St. Mary Chapel will be a place where physicians and colleagues, who are called to God’s service in their work as healers, can go to get away from the hustle of life in the hospital to reflect and become closer to God. “A place where you can feel His presence, put your trust in Him and rest.” He also wished God’s mercy and comfort on all who enter — patients, visitors and colleagues — as it is a place set aside for God’s use and can transform people in the everlasting love of the Father.
Immediately following the dedication, guests were escorted to the auditorium for a delicious meal catered by Andiamo’s Restaurant.
David Spivey offered a few opening remarks and acknowledged the nine major donors of the Chapel Capital Campaign, among whom are the Felician Sisters of North America. After dinner, he presented Sister Modesta with a papal blessing honoring her 75th Jubilee as a Felician Sister and thanked her for serving as the Honorary Campaign Chair as well as for her countless hours spent in fund-raising for the new chapel.