Bishop Jaime Soto and Father Richard Boyle, OSM, of the Order of Friar Servants of Mary, hold a monstrance that has been restored for use by parishioners of St. Joseph Parish in Rio Vista, where Father Boyle has served as parochial administrator since July 2014.
He will be leaving St. Joseph’s Oct. 31 to serve at The Grotto in Portland, Ore., a National Catholic Shrine dedicated to Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother, which is a ministry of the Servite Friars — Order of Friar Servants of Mary. The Grotto offers understanding, compassion, support and hope through a variety of ministries including counseling, education, spiritual direction and liturgical celebrations.
About 18 months ago, Father Boyle discovered a beautiful “Gothic monstrance” hidden away in long-term storage at the parish. ‘I immediately recognized its value — spiritually and historically,” he says. “Eventually, I found myself in a position to ‘offer’ it back to the parish for a full restoration project to return it to its ‘original glory,’ or as near as we could get it.”
The project was completed more than a month ago “and the result is truly magnificent,” Father Boyle notes. The monstrance is about 100 years old, 30 inches tall, 15 to 16 inches wide and displays a total of 11 silver-plated figures of saints and angels (each one in its own “niche”). The central figure of Christ the Good Shepherd stands directly above the “luna” or “lunette.”
The monstrance is underlying polished brass and gold-plated overlay. “It’s truly a work of art and devotion,” Father Boyle notes.