FORT WAYNE — The Angel Gabriel, who transmitted the greatest news — that Mary would be the mother of God — is also the patron saint of Catholic radio. When Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blessed the new chapel, tabernacle and altar at Redeemer Radio on Aug. 29, it was only appropriate for it to be named the St. Gabriel Chapel.
The small chapel seated just four people for the blessing. Other patrons, volunteers and staff sat throughout the Redeemer Radio studio and offices as Bishop Rhoades celebrated Mass.
The St. Gabriel Chapel was dedicated to the memory of Larry Hoffman, one of Redeemer Radio’s first volunteers. He died of leukemia in 2007.
His widow, Louise, was at the blessing. She and volunteers Retta Kohrman, Susie Wilhelm and Janice Scher were invited to be seated in the new chapel during the blessing.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” Louise told Today’s Catholic. “It’s what Larry would have wanted.”
She said Larry would have been most pleased that the Eucharist would be reserved in the chapel.
“The Blessed Sacrament will be reserved here,” Bishop Rhoades said in his homily. “The Lord will be in your midst.”
“It is truly a privilege to have a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament reserved,” Bishop Rhoades said as the apostolate serves the Church and the Church’s mission to share the good news.
The on site chapel, across the hall from the studios, will allow staff and volunteers to pray for listeners and benefactors of Redeemer Radio.
Dave Stevens, executive director of Redeemer Radio, reported that several pastors and volunteers donated items for the chapel. Father Phillip Widmann donated the chalice, ciborium, paten and candlesticks.
Father Cyril Fernandes donated the crucifix hanging on the chapel wall and the brass tabernacle candle.
Redeemer Radio volunteer Joe Pottoff used his carpentry expertise to build the tabernacle and tabernacle candle stand. Father James Shafer donated the tabernacle door.
The altar was once used by Msgr. Leo Hoffman. When he was no longer able to live independently, he gave his private altar to Warren and Susie Wilhelm who originally had it built for him. The Wilhelms have been supporters of Redeemer Radio and donated the altar. Warren Wilhelm died on Aug. 15.
Stevens said, “Redeemer Radio is an apostolate that is largely volunteer driven. There are over 300 volunteers who give of their time and talents to keep us on the air.”
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