St. Cecelia - Adoration Chapel
On July 2, 1984, Father Thomas Nash, then pastor of St. Cecelia's, established its Perpetual Adoration Chapel in the room east of the sanctuary. At that time, the concept for a chapel of this kind was not common across the country, but it was the dream of Father Nash. By first receiving support from the parish for this project, Father Nash proceeded to procure the necessary funds through a generous donation by Lillian Thilges in memory of her late husband, Harry Thilges, to convert the room into a chapel. Transforming the workroom into the place of adoration was the next task. Carpet, paint, and furniture were donated through the generosity of parish members and many volunteers worked to panel, carpet, and decorate. Parishioners also volunteered to spend time in prayer throughout each week in the year, most signing up for a particular hour each week.
As the room began to be transformed, the question of an altar design arose. Sister M. Dolores agreed to sketch the design, and the finished product is an arrangement of lines that places the focus of attention on the monstrance which holds the consecrated host.
Diagonal lines and geometric designs reflect the design of the altar. The Chi Rho and Eucharist symbols, and the Holy Spirit symbol, are also carried out in the windows. The glass is in the colors of gold, green and brown to represent the sun, earth and plant life which is such an integral part of the lives of the rural people in this community. Different shades of red and orange symbolize the strong, yet individually different faith lives of the local people. The stained-glass windows were constructed by Olai and Audrey Olson of Sunshine Company Stained Glass near Bancroft, Iowa.
Also, Father Nash proposed and received approval for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance, a gold filigree decorated cross with the Body of Christ in host form at its center. The Latin inscription around the monstrance proclaims, "Come all you who are heavy burdened," which remains a key purpose of the chapel. People may post special intentions in a three ring binder in the entry way of the chapel, where they may ask for prayers for specific persons in need of prayer in their families, in the community, and in the world. Then, throughout the day as people come and go in the chapel, they read the messages and pray for those intentions. This makes the chapel a great asset to the community as well as a great benefit to individuals who find comfort in prayer within its walls. For over twenty years, the tradition of twenty-four-hours-seven-days-a-week prayer has remained a strong and sustaining force, and the parishioners of
St. Cecelia's and the community of Algona continue to experience the power of prayer.