Loading
Chalice connects three priests over 99 years
Mary Ann Hughes

.- ". . . then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant . . .'" Matthew 26:27

“For most priests, the chalice is the most significant vessel that they use. Of all the vestments and vessels we use, it’s the most significant because it’s the one we use the most often, and because the Eucharist is at the heart of what we do as priests as far as being nourished ourselves and nourishing the people of God.

“The chalice is very significant.”

That’s how Father Alex Zenthoefer understands the importance of the chalice. He’s the assistant pastor at Holy Rosary Church and chaplain at Memorial High School, both in Evansville, Indiana, and diocesan director of Vocations.

His own chalice has added significance, because it connects him to two other diocesan priests, linking them all the way back to 1911.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 2005. Before his ordination, he was given a chalice which had belonged to Father Eugene Dewig, who died in 2002. Father Dewig had been his pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Evansville, and he had used the chalice during his 50-plus years of priesthood.

Father Dewig had served as Father Alex’s mentor, and the two men often talked about the priesthood. “Before he died, we sat down. He wanted me to ask him questions about the priesthood, and that was helpful for me. During our last conversation, we sat down, and he asked, ‘Do you have any questions?’ Then he pulled out a sheet he had prepared of things he thought I needed to know. He went through the list of things, which was wonderful. Then he hinted that he wanted me to have his chalice.”

Father Alex’s mom, Mary Ann, was the parish DRE at the time. “He told my mom he wanted me to have it. It was fitting, because the two biggest influences on my vocation were Father Dewig and my parents.

“She told me, and she said they were going to get it replated.”

Then in December of 2009, while he was doing a wedding someone asked where he had gotten his chalice. When he answered “from Father Dewig,” he was told that Father Dewig had received the chalice on June 3, 1950, on his ordination from Father Bernard Reidford.

Father Reidford had received the chalice from his parents on the occasion of his own ordination on June 10, 1911.

“So this June, I am celebrating the ninety-ninth birthday of my chalice,” Father Alex said.

“It’s amazing,” he said, “when I use it. It’s so much more clear to me that what I do as a priest is so much bigger than myself. Jesus handed his ministry to the apostles, and I think I am in line. I’m doing my part for the Church.”

Father Alex is 31 years old, and retirement is years away, but he says “when I start getting up in years, I hope I have some awareness — as Father Dewig — that this has to come to an end. I hope there is a young man considering the priesthood that I can pass this on to.”

Having this chalice — with its years of tradition — is a “great reminder to me that I’ve been chosen for this. You can never plan for this. We are chosen for this, and it’s a great gift.”


Printed with permission from The Message, newspaper for the Diocese of Evansville, Ind.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Sep
2

Liturgical Calendar

September 2, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Gospel
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 2:10B-16
Gospel:: Lk 4:31-37

Saint of the Day

Martyrs of September »

Saint
Date
08/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Homily
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: