A liturgical arts studio in Delaware County is opening its doors to the public for a unique display, as part of a new partnership with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The Liturgical Exchange, located at 28 New Road in Lenni (the St. Francis de Sales Fieldhouse), will host an open house Oct. 4, 5 and 6 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. for viewing of its collection of sacred items used in worship.


The event is a perfect opportunity for parishes looking to acquire sanctuary furniture (such as altars and ambos), baptismal fonts, tabernacles, crucifixes, chalices, monstrances, art and the like for churches and chapels, said organizers.

The archdiocese’s former Ecclesiastical Exchange has undergone a rebranding to better fit its mission, said Father Dennis Gill, director of the Office for Divine Worship and rector of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

Working with the St. Jude Liturgical Arts Studio – part of the DiCocco Family St. Jude Shop in Havertown – the archdiocese seeks “to provide for the fitting repurposing of liturgical furniture and (items) from closed churches and chapels,” said Father Gill.

Canon law specifies that “sacred objects, which are designated for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated reverently” and “not to be employed for profane and inappropriate use” (CIC, 1171).

For that reason, the church takes pains in the disposition of sacred items whenever a church or chapel is closed, said Father Gill.

“Everything at the exchange is destined for a liturgical purpose,” he said. “We must keep in mind that all those pieces, especially altars and other appointments, have been used for the worship of Almighty God. They have been consecrated, dedicated or blessed for that purpose.”

The exchange also enables parishes to purchase higher-quality, hard-to-get items at better prices, said St. Jude director of operations Gregory DiCocco.

“Some of this artwork you can’t get newly made anymore,” he said. “And often they don’t make these items like they used to.”

Clergy are surprised and excited about the exchange’s inventory, said manager David Parker.

“Some have told me it’s like being in a religious goods candy store,” he said. “They’ll come in here and stay for over an hour, when they only wanted to stop in and look around.”

And while laity cannot purchase exchange items directly (unless doing so on behalf of a parish with written authorization from a pastor), next week’s open house – at which all are welcome – will serve a “catechetical” function, said Father Gill.

“In a remarkable way, it reminds the faithful of the reverence and respect due to items used in sacred liturgy,” he said.


For more information on the Liturgical Exchange, visit its website.