TAUNTON — On February 10, Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., celebrated Mass with the students and faculty of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton. The culmination of the day was bishop’s blessing of the new chapel and the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the chapel’s tabernacle for adoration.

Bishop da Cunha speaks to students and staff of Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton when he blessed the school’s new chapel. To the bishop’s right is school chaplain, Father Matt Gill.

Spearheaded by Father Matthew Gill, school chaplain, the chapel was created from the space previously used for extended care and storage. This past summer, as they prepared for the upcoming school year, Father Gill and Mary Turner, school principal, desired to foster a greater devotion and love for the Eucharist in the school. It was from that desire that the idea of a school chapel was born. 

According to Father Gill, “The emphasis on the Eucharist has really come from the U.S. Bishops’ three-year initiative of a Eucharistic Revival for our country. As Catholics, we believe that the Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself, it’s the greatest treasure the Church has and our bishops want the faithful to rediscover this incredible gift. My job, as a priest and school chaplain, is not only to teach about Christ but also to help the students to meet him personally, especially in the Blessed Sacrament.” 

The renovation of the space began in August of 2022 when Father Gill recruited some friends to help him with the project. “This group of guys would come to the school late in the evening and into the night to work on cleaning out the area, painting, and then adding the final touches,” said Turner. 

“When Father Gill first told me of his plans, I thought his timeline was very aggressive and did not believe it would be done within a few months. But his dedication paid off and we are so blessed to have him as our school chaplain, and now the reason why we have a chapel.”

“Most of the items in the chapel were previously used within one of our churches but were recently set aside in storage and awaiting a future use. It’s great to be able to use them once again, to furnish a place where the future of our Catholic Church is being cultivated,” says Father Gill. Within God’s plan the altar, tabernacle and pews will once again, afford our youth a sacred place to encounter God in prayer.”

After the chapel’s blessing, the first-grade class treated Bishop da Cunha to a beautiful song of thanksgiving and gratitude. Father Gill concluded, saying, “There is no better way to begin the Lenten season than to offer all the students, Pre-K through grade eight, the faculty and staff, a place to meet Christ and fall in love with him in the most Blessed Sacrament.”

For more information about Our Lady of Lourdes School, please go to www.ololtaunton.com.