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 CNS Story:

CHALICE Feb-19-2008 (430 words) With photos. xxxn

Tulsa firm refurbishes chalice to be used at U.S. papal Masses

By Marilyn Duck

Catholic News Service

TULSA, Okla. (CNS) -- Don Taylor, refinishing department manager at the F.C. Ziegler Co. in Tulsa, said his latest project was a great honor: restoring a 1938 chalice that will be used when Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass during his April 15-20 visit to the United States.

"When you get a piece like that, and you know who will use it and who has used it in the past, I'm absolutely nervous, yes," said the member of St. Cecilia Parish in Claremore, northeast of Tulsa.

The chalice has been housed at the Vatican's embassy in Washington and has been used by previous popes who visited the United States, including Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II.

A Ziegler's customer who lives in Washington and has worked with the apostolic nuncio recommended the family-owned Tulsa firm as "the best in the industry," Taylor told the Tulsa World daily newspaper.

The F.C. Ziegler Co. is a religious goods supplier that also makes chalices and other liturgical items. The business was started during the Great Depression.

The restoration by Taylor and his team included removing the rubies, sapphires and glass medallions that adorn the chalice and cleaning and polishing it before recoating the sterling silver chalice with a 24-carat gold finish. On Feb. 19, the chalice was supposed to be on its way back to Washington.

The chalice was manufactured in London in the spring of 1938. Taylor estimated it would cost $12,000-$15,000 to create such a chalice today.

It is typically cleaned once or twice every week by nuns, Taylor said, and the finish simply had worn off. The restoration was to make it "look like it did when it was new," he said.

Pope Benedict is to arrive in Washington April 15. His itinerary includes a meeting with President George W. Bush April 16. Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa said he will be among the U.S. bishops meeting with the pope April 16 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and will be one of the concelebrants of the papal Mass in the new Nationals Park April 17.

Other clergy from the Diocese of Tulsa planned to travel to New York City, where Pope Benedict will speak to the United Nations April 18; visit ground zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood, April 20; and celebrate Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral April 19 and at Yankee Stadium April 20.

END


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