Description of the Church and Furnishings
The design of the building was formed from a consensus of the building committee and the input of many parishioners.
St. Michael's original church was dedicated by Archbishop John Frances Donaghue on March 19, 1999. the new Church was dedicated by Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory on August 29, 2015.
The furnishings in the inside of the Church come from both near and far and reflect the traditions of our faith and our unity with Rome, the heart of the Church.
When St. Michael's opened for the first mass in January of 1999, the stature of St. Michael the Archangel was placed in the courtyard by the entrance. The stature was commissioned and made in Mexico for St. Michael's church. The statue remained there watching over St. Michael's until it was refurbished and relocated to the Narthex of the new Church. St. Michael the Archangel is our patron and with his wings extended we pray to be under his protection as he combats the forces of evil.
There is both a chapel and a main sanctuary in the church.
The chapel is illuminated with beautiful stained glass windows. In the center, above the altar, is a round rose stained glass window depicting the Blessed Trinity. The top circle is the hand of God reaching down to earth. The large middle circle is the Holy Spirit who descended down from heaven in the form of a dove. The bottom circle is the victorious lamb, Jesus, who through his death and resurrection was triumphant. On the left side of the dome are the Greek letters alpha and omega which Jesus spoke to signify the eternal reign of God. On both sides of the rose window are the Saints and Angels, the heavenly host in praise and worship of the Triune God.
On the left side of the Altar is a stained glass window of St. Michael the Archangel, our patron saint. On the right side is a stained glass window of St. Catherine of Sienna in honor of our Mother Church from which St. Michael's was founded, St. Catherine of Sienna in Kennesaw, Georgia.
The remainder of the stained glass windows depict the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary: the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, the Assumption of Mary and Crowning of Mary.
Below the stained glass windows are the Stations of the Cross which were purchased from Italy. Both the altar and the lectern were in the original church.
The red color of the Presider and Deacon's chairs represents the sacrifice of Christ and the gold border along the red fabric represents the Kingship of Christ.
The original processional cross which is used sometimes for Mass was purchased at one of the major basilicas in Rome, "Paul Outside the Wall". The cross is the papal cross that was used by both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Only the Pope can use the true papal cross so artisans are required to make slight alterations in replicas of the papal cross. A new processional cross from Spain is also used for mass on the weekends.
As you enter the Nave of the Church you are immediately greeted by the baptismal font and the Pascal candle (also referred to as the Easter candle). The font was designed and commissioned by Fr. Larry Niese, the Pastor and sculpted from marble in Italy. The font is a continual flowing fountain where you can bless yourself as you enter into the Nave as a reminder of your baptism.
At the front of the Church, the Sanctuary, are the Altar and Ambo which are also sculpted from the same marble as the Baptismal Font. In the middle of the Altar front is a marble carving of a mother pelican feeding her young. When a mother pelican can not find food for her young, she will pull flesh from her body to feed them, thus representing the Eucharist, Christ sacrificing his body to feed us. Sealed in the top of the Altar are two relics from saints. Saint John Neumann and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seten. Both relics had belonged to Fr. Larry and were donated by him at the Dedication of the Church.
The four brass candle sticks which are at the four corners of the Altar are from Spain and represent the four corners of the earth, encompassing the universality of the Church.
The gold Tabernacle, which was in the old church, is in the shape of the Ark of the Covenant and was crafted in Spain. The wooden stand, also original to the old church was hand crafted in Georgia.
The crucifix was crafted in Italy and the wooden cross on which the corpus was placed was made by Fr. Larry Niese, Pastor and Deacon Vic Taylor.
The brass Stations of the Cross which are on the pillars of the church, came from Rome and were the original ones from the old church.
On the columns in the church are pedestals with 10 saints. For information on each one, please see the section on the web site entitled Saints.
The church is surrounded by 26 beautifully crafted windows from Lynchburg, Virginia. The rose window in the front of the church depicts the seven sacraments coming from the Heart of Jesus. There are also windows of St. Michael the Archangel and a window of the Good Shepherd which was donated by the parishioners of the parish in honor of the Pastor, Fr. Larry Niese's 20th anniversary to the priesthood. The remainder of the windows depict the mysteries of the rosary.