A Goodbye Gift
Published on Augut 1-2, 2015 in the Parish Bulletin of Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY
Ten years ago, I was with Fr. Chris Clay at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. We had gone on a pilgrimage there during a week-long break from our advanced studies in Spanish in the little town of Buenavista de Cuellar in Guerrero, Mexico. We also visited many of the religious goods stores near the basilica to buy some gifts and mementos for family and friends. It was at Apostolado Litúrgico Decoro y Belleza, a store run by the Pias Discípulas del Divino Maestro, that I found and bought the chalice and paten that I would later use for my first Mass of Thanksgiving as a priest. This is the same blue chalice that I have used at every weekend Mass that I have celebrated here at Saint Andrew’s.
The chalice is seven inches tall and has a gold plated cup that is 4 1/4 inches in diameter. The outside of the chalice is decorated with a blue enamel and features three fish (in enamels of salmon, mauve, and orange) that are caught in a gilded net. The engraving on the bottom reads: Ad usum R[everendus] P[ater] Emmanuel Flores Zamora, Pr[es]b[yteratus] Ord[inem] 19.v.2007 A[nno] D[omini], Donum Familiae Lorenzo. The English translation is as follows: [This is] A gift of the Lorenzo Family for the use of the Reverend Father Emmanuel Flores Zamora, Ordained to the Priesthood on May 19 in the year of our Lord 2007.
The paten has a diameter of 5 3/4 inches and has the same blue enamel on its face. The face also features three loaves of bread and two fish set before a blue cross and two waves of aquamarine, evoking the Lord’s miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes (cf. Mt. 14:15-21; Mt. 15:32-39; Mk. 6:35-44; Mk. 8:1-9; Lk. 9:12-17; Jn. 6:1-13). The bottom of the paten is covered in black enamel.
Dr. Alex and Mrs. Joan Lorenzo of Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Lexington KY graciously paid for the purchase of the chalice and paten ten years ago. It cost 6,710 Mexican pesos in July 2005, around US$500 at that time. Two years ago, I had both pieces refurbished and appraised by Koleys, Inc. in Omaha, NE. They had estimated their current market value to be $1,800.
When I was installed as your Pastor on July 4, 2010, I remarked that the design of my chalice and paten complemented the stained glass windows of Saint Andrew’s with their blue waters and their schools of fish caught by the Lord’s net. It almost seems that my chalice and paten had been made for this Church. That is why I have decided to entrust these two treasures of my priestly ministry to this parish.
I had used this chalice and paten at my first Mass as a priest; I had hoped to have used them until my last. But, now you will use them on my behalf when you gather around the table of the Lord. I ask only that you remember me in your prayers to our Good Shepherd so that He might make the heart of this former pastor of yours more like His.