For the first time in many years, a new place of worship has been consecrated in the Diocese of Southeast Florida at Palmer Trinity School in Miami. The Bishop, the Right Reverend Peter Eaton, consecrated Trinity Chapel and celebrated the first Eucharist with the school’s Chaplain, the Reverend Dr. Mary Ellen Cassini, concelebrating. At a time when so many in church leadership are faced with the closing of places of worship this historic occasion serves as a sign of hope. “The consecration of Trinity Chapel, at the heart of one of our great schools, is a sign that the Christian faith is alive and well in our diocese,” said Bishop Eaton, “It is also a sign of the flourishing of our ministry of education.”
Head of School, Patrick Roberts, and Chairman of the Board, Hugo Mantilla, participated in the service, along with Ms. Tina Lane, the Reverend Jennie Lou Reid and Benjamin Reid, one of the Vice Chancellors of the diocese, and students who are siblings, Megan and John Keller. There were also musical contributions by students and faculty. The service was conducted according to the current safety protocols necessitated by the pandemic.
At the heart of this service are several important segments, the first being the recognition that places have the capacity to mediate the holiness, beauty, and presence of God.
According to Dr. Cassini, the building of this chapel is the fruit of a long-cherished dream and the efforts of many. Standing as a symbol of the school’s Episcopal identity, Trinity Chapel has been made possible by the generosity of benefactors who had the vision of a sacred place for the community to gather. This sacred place is also dedicated in honor of the first Head of School of Trinity Episcopal School, the Reverend Dr. Edward “Ned” Dougherty, to recognize his commitment to the school community in its early years. An icon of the Hebrew Testament Trinity, often called the Hospitality of Abraham, will be placed in the chapel.
Chairman of the Board, Hugo Mantilla said, “This chapel, at the heart of our school campus, reminds us that God is present in the midst of us all the time, and that the life of the soul is as crucial as the life of the mind, the life of the heart, and the life of the body. This service also reminds us that we are able to worship freely and openly, without fear of persecution or ridicule. And this service reminds us that God is ready and waiting, eagerly, to live in a relationship of love, joy, and delight with each one of us.”
Head of School, Patrick Roberts: “This sacred space will be a place where our alumni and others can celebrate weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, and other special events in their lives,”
This chapel is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, to which the School is also dedicated. Christians have come to understand the being of the one God as Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are intimately related in an eternal relationship of creating, redeeming, and giving life to the human family and all creation.
A church building is usually divided into four sections. The entrance area is known as the narthex. The body of the church is called the nave, which comes from the Latin word for ship, and refers to the idea that the Church is a vessel that helps transport souls to God. There is a choir section, or chancel. Finally, the focal point of the building is the altar area, called the sanctuary.
Palmer Trinity School—a coeducational Episcopal day school—is dedicated to promoting academic excellence that integrates knowledge, compassion, global citizenship, and social responsibility. Providing a supportive environment, Palmer Trinity School serves students from a broad range of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds in grades 6-12.
The Episcopal Church in Southeast Florida exists to make the transforming love of Jesus Christ come alive in our time and known to all people, everyone! It is part of The Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion. It has 75 congregations that are as diverse as Southeast Florida itself. The diocese runs from Key West in the south to Jensen Beach in the north and west to Clewiston.