Monday, June 19, 2023

Restoring the Glory: The Art of Refinishing Metal Church Ware


Restoring the Glory: The Art of Refinishing Metal Church Ware

Chalices, Ciboria, candlesticks, tabernacles, and otherchurch ware hold profound significance in the Church.  These sacred vessels, made of precious metals such as gold, silver, and brass, are integral to the Mass.  Over time, however, age, wear, and tarnish can dull their once radiant beauty.  That’s when the art of refinishing comes into play, breathing new life into these cherished vessels.  In this blog post, we will delve into the process of refinishing metal church ware, showcasing the care, expertise, and reverence involved in restoring them to their original glory.

Metalware plays a vital role in the celebration of the Mass and other sacraments.  Their craftmanship, design, and materials carry rich history and significance.  Preserving their beauty and integrity is crucial to maintaining the spiritual significance they hold.

The restoration process begins with contacting your local Church Goods Dealer, such as us at St. Mary’s Bookstore.  We will inspect the pieces, take pictures, and send them off to one of our refinishing partners for a quote.  Once the quote is approved, the refinishing process begins. 

The refinishers will carefully assess the condition of the metal in close detail and come up with the proper refinishing techniques for each individual piece.  Before starting any restoration work, the items are meticulously cleaned to remove dirt, dust, and any remnants of wax or oil. 

Polishing is a key step in refinishing metal church ware.  A skilled artisan uses a combination of tools and techniques to remove tarnish, scratches, and other imperfections.  The artisan works diligently to ensure the original design details are preserved.  

If the church ware has suffered any damage over time, repairs may be necessary.  Skilled craftsmen can reshape bent pieces, mend broken parts, and replace missing elements, all while ensuring their security.  The restorers can keep the delicate balance of preserving the original craftsmanship and ensuring structural integrity.  Items are then polished and refinished in the base metal or electro-plated accordingly in either silver or 24k gold.

Refinishing these sacred vessels is a specialized art form that demands expertise and skill.  All of our refinishing partners have worked in the industry for over 75 years and are experts in their field.  They approach each restoration project with the utmost care, reverence, and commitment to honoring the sacredness of the church ware they work with.  These artisans take great care to maintain the original design and engravings of each piece.

Once the refinishing process is complete, your items are returned to you with their original beauty and glory restored.  The refinishing process can take anywhere from 8 to 24 weeks depending on the size and type of pieces and their current condition.

Proper care and storage, regular cleaning, and appropriate handling are essential to prevent future damage and to preserve the newly restored beauty of the sacred vessels.

Refinishing metal church ware is a labor of love, blending artistry, craftmanship, and reverence for sacred objects.  Through the hands of skilled artisans, these vessels are given a new life, restored to their original splendor, and ready to continue their service within the church.

For more information about how to get your metal church ware refinished, please call St. Mary's Bookstore at 615-329-1835 or email

Monday, June 12, 2023

St. Anthony of Padua, Patron of the Lost

 St. Anthony of Padua, whose feast is June 13th, is popularly known as the patron saint of lost articles. Known for his remarkable ability to help individuals find what they have lost, he has captured the hearts and faith of countless believers throughout history.

St. Anthony was born Fernando in Lisbon, Portugal in 1195.  At the age of fifteen, he joined the Augustinian Order, but later joined the Franciscans after being inspired by a group of Franciscan martyrs in Morocco.  He took the name Anthony.  In 1221, St. Francis held a general meeting in Assisi; when the others dispersed, there lingered behind, unknown and neglected, a poor Portuguese friar, Anthony.

Anthony was soon recognized as a great teacher and preacher.  He taught theology to the other Franciscan friars and assumed more responsibility within the Order until his death at age 36.

Throughout his life, St. Anthony became known for his powerful intercessory in helping people find their lost possessions.  Numerous accounts testify to his intercession locating lost items, from documents to jewelry to keys and more.  These miraculous recoveries have continued to inspire faith in St. Anthony’s intercession and has earned him the title of Patron of Lost Articles.

While St. Anthony is popularly known as the patron of lost material possessions, his intercession goes beyond just physical objects.  The “lost” includes a broader sense of direction, purpose, and even lost souls in need of spiritual guidance.  St. Anthony’s compassion extends to all those who seek his help, offering comfort and hope to those who may feel lost in their various aspects of life.

In conclusion, St. Anthony of Padua is a beloved saint who has captured the heart and devotion of countless individuals seeking the recovery of lost items or lost direction in their lives.  With his remarkable ability to assist in finding lost possessions and his unwavering dedication to helping those who turn to him, he has rightfully earned the title of patron saint of lost articles.  Whether it is a misplaced trinket or a lost sense of purpose, the faithful continue to invoke St. Anthony’s intercession, finding consolation in his timeless example of selflessness and compassion.

St. Anthony, pray for us!

Read more about St. Anthony in "Antonio: A Story of St. Anthony of Padua" by Madeline Pecora Nugent, cfp and "Saint Anthony and the Christ Child" by Helen Walker Homan.  And for kids, "Anthony of Padua: Wonder Worker" by Barbara Yoffie.  Find holy cards, medals, and statues to honor St. Anthony at St. Mary's Bookstore and

Friday, June 9, 2023

Father's Day Gift Guide

 Thoughtful Gifts for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18th this year.  On Father’s Day we honor the fathers, grandfathers, Godfathers, and other father-figures in our lives.  It is the perfect opportunity to show them gratitude for their love, guidance, and support.  We have the perfect Father’s Day gifts for all of the father figures in your life:


The Way of the Wilderness Warrior
by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Riveting and accessible, this novelized account of the spiritual life is a hero's journey for our times. It tells the story of the conversion of a young man named Austin through the ministrations of a tough inner-city priest, Father Lawrence, who challenges nine college students to take a leap of faith on the path to holiness. As his friends set out for England, Ireland, and New York City, Austin heads for a remote monastery where he meets Fr. Aelred, a Benedictine hermit who guides him on the spiritual quest. Through a fictional dialogue, author Fr. Dwight Longenecker unveils a twelve-part plan for union with God that parallels the classic purgative, illuminative, and unitive stages of the spiritual life.


Holy Grit: ASaintly Guide to Becoming a Man of Virtue
by Paul George

Discover what it means to become a man of faith through the lives of ten male saints and their experiences pursuing holiness. In Holy Grit, you’ll join Catholic life coach Paul George to consider some of the tough issues facing men today—struggles in marriage, parenting, suffering, and finding purpose—to determine areas for growth and take steps toward living the life for which God created you…Each chapter introduces a saint, offers practical takeaways for modern men, and includes reflection questions, an action plan, and a prayer.


Manual for Men
by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

Manual for Men is for men who are in the arena, warriors for Christ and His Church. It is for those men who battle daily for their souls and for their family. It is often a struggle to shed the sins and vices the world offers men, but it’s a battle we must fight and win…Manual for Men serves as a field guide and instruction manual for those husbands, fathers, sons and brothers who would become real men of God— men who protect, physically and spiritually, those entrusted to them; men who sacrifice, pray, fight, love, and live by the example of Christ. 



“Be Strong and Courageous”500 Piece Puzzle

These encouraging sentiments of the puzzles, along with their smooth interlocking pieces, will make for hours long frustration-free relaxation. The puzzle is made from recycled material and eco-friendly ink and makes an excellent gift for an environmentally conscious friend.  Perfect for any dad, grandad, uncle, or other father-figure looking for a fun, relaxing activity.

“The Lord is My Strength”500 Piece Puzzle



These rugged, handsome journals with great quotes make great gifts for all of the men in your life.  Whether for work notes, spiritual reflection, or just jotting down thoughts, these journals are thoughtful, beautiful gifts for Father’s Day.


Prayer Books

The “St. Joseph PrayerBook,” “Daily Companion for Men,” “St. Joseph Gems,” and other great Men’s prayer books are perfect Father’s Day gifts.  These prayer books provide just the right amount of encouragement and challenge to guide and inspire men of every age and way of life.  Help the men in your life enrich their prayer life with these wonderful prayer books.

Saint Socks

Saint socks are a fun way to have your patron saint or St. Joseph, patron of fathers, with you throughout the day.  Whether it is a saint you have a connect with such as St. Benedict or St. Michael or the saint of fatherhood, St. Joseph, there are a variety of saint socks which make fun gifts for all of the men in your life this Father’s Day.

Find these and more gifts for Father's Day at St. Mary's Bookstore and  Wishing all of the fathers and father-figures a blessed Father's Day.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

June 4th: Celebrating the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

 June 4th: Celebrating the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

In the liturgical calendar, June 4th holds great significance as it marks the celebration of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity.  The concept of the Holy Trinity is a central pillar of Christian theology.  It recognizes God as three distinct persons – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – united as one God.

The Role of the Father:  God the Father, the Creator, is the all-loving Father who watches over His Creation.

The Incarnation of the Son: The second person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, is the perfect union of divinity and humanity.  Jesus offers salvation and reconciliation with God.

The Work of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is the Advocate, Comforter, and Helper.  It is through the Holy Spirit that God’s presence is felt and experienced, providing guidance, inspiration, and strength.

On the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, Christians are called to deepen their understanding and devotion to the triune nature of God.  The faithful are called to contemplate the immense love God has for us within this Divine unity and seek a personal relationship with each person of the Trinity.

May this celebration of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity serve as a reminder of God’s infinite love for us.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June: Embracing the Sacred Heart of Jesus

As we step into the month of June, filled with the excitement of children on summer break, vacations, poolside reading, and the summer heat, we are also reminded that this month is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The Sacred Heart represents the compassionate heart of Jesus, overflowing with love and mercy, and June provides a wonderful opportunity to embrace this devotion.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a powerful symbol as the image depicts the heart of Jesus, surrounded by thorns and engulfed in flames of love.  This image of Jesus’ heart signifies His suffering, sacrifice, and unwavering devotion to humanity.  It serves as a reminder of the infinite love Jesus has for each and every one of us.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has a long history within the Catholic Church.  It traces back to the revelations received by St. Margaret Mary Alocoque in the 17th century.  Through her visions, she experienced the profound love of Christ and was entrusted with the mission to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart.

The month of June provides us with the perfect opportunity to deepen our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  It offers a chance to reflect upon the unconditional love and mercy that flow from His heart and inspires us to live lives rooted in compassion and kindness.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the Litanyof the Sacred Heart, and participation in Mass are just some of the ways to honor the Sacred Heart.  Sacred Heart images, statues, holy cardschaplets, and books are all great tools to help deepen our devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

As we journey through June, let us open our hearts to the transformative love of Christ and allow His Sacred Heart to guide us in all that we do and inspire us to extend that love to those around us. 

Sunday, March 5, 2023

A Loaf of Bread and a Few Fish


A loaf of bread and a few fish is all He had to work with and yet He fed them with plenty left over. He's our perfect example and our great provider. He wants us to go and do the same. He wants us to put out our nets and work to bring people closer to Him. And how do we do His Will? How do we serve, teach and bring others to Christ? 

It is true we have beautiful displays in the store. But they do have a plan. They often tell a story about what's going on for the season or what's going on around the Diocese. They have a purpose and we hope and pray that they are leading our customers to what they need to live like Christ, to serve and to teach. Whether it's a space filled with book suggestions such as The Passion: Reflections on the Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ by Thigpen , The Last Hours of Jesus From Gethsemane to Golgotha by Gorman, The Life of Jesus: Seek and Find Sarah and Simon by Magnificat or The Holy Mass on Earth as it is in Heaven by O'Neill or gifts such as rosaries, medals, statues or crucifixes, for Baptisms or First Communions or Confirmations, for people coming into the Church at Easter or for personal use, our prayer every morning is that people receive what they need to lead a holy life and to bring everyone they may come into contact with along with them. A loaf and a few fish or a rosary and a few good books or a crucifix and a few candles; when we have something to work with, He can multiply our work and He can give us the grace and the means to serve and to make a difference, with enough left over for ourselves. 

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle

The Feast of St. Thomas is tomorrow and we think it's a great time to contemplate his question to Jesus, "How can we know the way?" In our situation, we are daily questioned on product, on trust and on faith. "How do you choose what to buy? How do you decide what companies to trust, what publishers to carry? Do you have faith in the economy, in the choices of our leaders? Well, let's face it, like you, we put our trust and our faith in Jesus, in the belief in the power of His Spirit. The Case for Jesus by Brant Pitre gives us all the evidence we need to know that He is real. He is here. We do not have to put our hands in his wounds to know because He Himself tells us that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If we take time with Him at Mass and in prayer, in study and by caring for and loving one another, we know the very thing that St. Thomas witnessed. We know that Jesus is with us in the day to day decisions. We know that like St Thomas, we too can say with all certainty, as the Eucharist is raised, "My Lord and My God." And it is in that trust, that faith, that belief in the power of the Holy Spirit, that we make decisions that effect others and just like you, we depend on good authors and faithful vendors as well as recommendations from customers and friends, but most importantly, we rely on prayer. On this weekend, we especially pray for the leaders of our country and for all those who defend our freedom. We pray through the intercession of St. Thomas, that we, God's people,  put on hold all doubt, all skepticism, and seek together to find the Way, the Truth and the Life...our life, as one, in Jesus Christ.