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New Altar-Rail Gate <br>Unites New England and California Campuses

New Altar-Rail Gate
Unites New England and California Campuses

Posted: September 21, 2020

As part of the ongoing transformation of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel at Thomas Aquinas College, New England, workers have recently completed the installation of a double gate in the altar rail. Rich in symbolism, the gate speaks to both God’s everlasting nature and the unity of the College’s two campuses.

Embedded in bronze within the two sides of the gate are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha and omega — a symbol which Christians have employed since at least the 4th century to represent God’s eternal nature. The carving recalls the prophecy of St. John: “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come, the Almighty’” (Rev. 1:8). It also bears homage to the gate’s counterpart in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel on the College’s California campus, which, while differing in style from the New England gate, likewise features the same Greek letters.

The gate is the handiwork of alumnus woodworker George Krestyn (’03), who also took part in constructing the New England Chapel’s confessionals and altar rail, as well as reconfiguring its pews and floor to create a center aisle. Mr. Krestyn has been carefully hand-carving the gate for the last several months.

The College is grateful for the ongoing effort that Mr. Krestyn and his fellow craftsmen have made to make the Chapel a beautiful and fitting space for Catholic worship!

The California (left) and New England (right) altar-rail gates, each featuring the Alpha and the Omega The California (left) and New England (right) altar-rail gates, each featuring the Alpha and the Omega