by Jill Ragar Esfeld
LENEXA — At a Mass celebrating the 25th anniversary of the dedication of their main church, Holy Trinity parishioners here joined with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann in thanking all those involved in the building effort.
“It’s good to have Msgr. Ray Burger with us tonight,” said the archbishop. “He led this effort to create this beautiful church.”
Msgr. Burger was pastor in 1994 when the master plan for the church was presented to the archdiocese.
To him, the anniversary event involved much more than commemorating a wonderful building.
“It is rather a time to reflect upon the graces of the Spirit within this church community, which brought about this building,” he said. “The parishioners of Holy Trinity have always been responsive to the gifts of the Spirit.
“And the 25th anniversary should remind us of the work of that Spirit even today.”
The anniversary fell on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Mary, under this title, is the principal patron of the archdiocese, and Archbishop Naumann told parishioners she is the example for “becoming living tabernacles that carry the very life of God within us.”
He also addressed why churches — the actual physical places of worship — are so important.
“What we try to do in our churches,” he said, “is create a space that recognizes the mystery of the Incarnation, the mystery of God’s presence with us.
“And how blessed we are to experience and encounter him in the Eucharist tonight.”
Concelebrant Holy Trinity pastor Father Mike Koller spoke at the end of Mass, recalling the long history of the parish, and the community effort that went into building this main church.
All the furniture, aside from the pews, was handmade by Holy Trinity parishioners led by Nick Disidore, he said.
Parishioner Cookie Moffitt painted the icon that hangs above the altar.
The 12 stained-glass windows surrounding the interior were recovered from Msgr. Burger’s childhood church of St. Thomas, in the Armourdale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas.
“So, this evening,” said Father Koller, “we give thanks and praise to almighty God for having this beautiful structure that we call our home church.
“And Msgr. Burger, we want to thank you especially for your leadership and vision in making it all possible.
“And praise be to God.”