Blessing Our Building
Staff and students alike have been hearing rumors that Lumen Christi was given an exorcism in the wake of the sentencing of convicted felon and former staff member James Rapp on April 29th. While it is possible to perform an exorcism on a place as well as a person, that is not what took place.
Here, I will set the record straight.
In the days leading up to the April 29th court sentencing, an intercessory prayer team spent an evening at Lumen Christi, interceding for the school, praying in various places around the campus and re-consecrating the school under the mantle of protection provided by God, Jesus, Mary and all the saints. Holy water was used. At no time was there any evidence of paranormal activity such as has been rumored.
On the afternoon of April 29th, following the court proceedings downtown, Bishop Boyea led a Eucharistic Holy Hour in the Lumen Christi Chapel for faculty, staff, board members and area pastors. During that time, he and another priest went all around the school, inside and out, blessing the building with holy water. Though the prayers used that day did mention evil, at no time was an exorcism begun.
Why Bless a Building?
Why bless a building that has already been blessed? For the same reason a new occupant in an older home might ask the priest to bless their dwelling. Even though countless others have lived there and may have had it blessed themselves, one can never be ‘too blessed’ or a place made ‘too holy.’ The blessing provides assurance of God’s protection of the place and the people in that place. Overall, the blessing provides much needed peace of mind.
The wounds inflicted on the people of Lumen Christi by Fr. Rapp are numerous, long lasting and too horrific for words. Such sinful disregard for the innocence of youth can have lingering effects on the place where the abuse occurred, upon faculty, students and even parents – whether they were alive at that time and regardless of whether they had ever met James Rapp or one of his victims. Anger, division, suspicion, resentment and frustration are some of the many human emotions that bleed from these open wounds.
As the chief shepherd of our Diocese, Bishop Boyea took it upon himself to bless this school and to pray for its deliverance from this darkest period in the school’s nearly half century of educating the youth of Jackson. This was intended to represent a means by which the entire Jackson Catholic Community can move forward from these events of 30 years ago, that we might come together as never before and seek a brighter future, with the help of our faith and the armies of heavenly host watching over us.
Please keep the victims and their families in prayer, and we should pray daily for God’s blessing to be upon Lumen Christi and all our schools, parishes and homes.
I hope this clarifies the matter, please contact me or a member of the clergy in your parish if you have need of further clarification.
Fr. Tim MacDonald, Vicar General and Vicar of Jackson
Member, Lumen Board of Trustees
Pastor of Queens and Fatima