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Belen blesses cornerstone of new chapel

Jesuit Father Guillermo García-Tuñón, president of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, blesses the cornerstone of Our Lady of Belen Chapel, Oct. 30, 2021.

Photographer: Teresa Martinez

Jesuit Father Guillermo García-Tuñón, president of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, blesses the cornerstone of Our Lady of Belen Chapel, Oct. 30, 2021.

MIAMI | Calling it “the most significant construction project” in Belen Jesuit Prep’s 60 years in Miami, the school’s president blessed the cornerstone of its soon-to-be-completed Our Lady of Belen Chapel.

“One of the most significant aspects of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School is our Catholic-Jesuit identity,” said Jesuit Father Guillermo García-Tuñón during the Oct. 30, 2021 ceremony. “It is unequivocally who we are and what we strive for our students to become: good Catholic-Jesuit men of faith who will actively contribute to the community. As such, it is without a doubt that the most significant construction project in Belen’s history in Miami is the Our Lady of Belen Chapel.”

Masons prepare to lay the cornerstone of Our Lady of Belen Chapel at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Oct. 30, 2021.

Photographer: Teresa Martinez

Masons prepare to lay the cornerstone of Our Lady of Belen Chapel at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Oct. 30, 2021.

This blessing of the cornerstone is a significant moment in the building of any sacred structure. Architecturally, the cornerstone is fundamental to the construction of a stable building. In a church/chapel, the cornerstone is important metaphorically because of its symbolic connection to the Risen Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus references Psalm 118 to declare himself the foundation stone for a new temple: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

During the rite, the masons installed the cornerstone after Father García-Tuñón blessed it. The inscription on the stone reads, “Quem Caeli non capiunt, unius feminae sinus ferebat.” The translation is: “He whom the heavens could not contain, was contained in the womb of a woman.” The quote is taken from a Christmas sermon by St. Augustine.

After the blessing ceremony, guests toured the “Art in Worship” exhibit in Belen’s Saladrigas Gallery. The exhibit features the sacred art which will be installed in Our Lady of Belen Chapel once construction is completed sometime in 2022.

The exhibit can be visited by appointment only. To visit, contact the Office of the Ignatian Center for the Arts at 786-621-4624.

After the cornerstone blessing, guests at Belen Jesuit Prep tour the “Art in Worship” exhibit in the school’s Saladrigas Gallery. The exhibit features the sacred art which will be installed in Our Lady of Belen Chapel once construction is completed sometime in 2022.

Photographer: Teresa Martinez

After the cornerstone blessing, guests at Belen Jesuit Prep tour the “Art in Worship” exhibit in the school’s Saladrigas Gallery. The exhibit features the sacred art which will be installed in Our Lady of Belen Chapel once construction is completed sometime in 2022.