To Feed and Forgive: Mersmann assembles community altar


Ana Gajewski

Archbishop Joseph Naumann celebrates the Eucharist on altar created by Father Anthony Mersmann.

Will Baska, Staff Writer

The gym falls silent in reverence as the Archbishop walks down the middle aisle, approaching the grand, white-clothed edifice waiting for him. This is no ordinary table, but a fruit of labor, a divine workshop that will serve as the base of all Masses — an altar handcrafted by Fr. Anthony Mersmann.
Although a new altar had become a need for the Miege community, Fr. Mersmann said he was more than glad to bring the task into his own hands.
“We needed a bigger, more sturdy altar,” Fr. Mersmann said. “The old one was very wobbly, and I knew I liked building things, so the idea came to build one.”
While it could seem like a daunting task, Fr. Mersmann willingly spent his summer days completing the project, expressing the joy it was to combine his penchant for building with his pastoral duties.
“I love hobbies that offer immediate results, going from nothing to something,” Fr. Mersmann said. “Being able to see that type of work truly benefit my call to priesthood is really cool.”
Not only did the job suffice as a way to fulfill his vocation, but it also served as a creative outlet for Fr. Mersmann to add his own personal touches.
“I spent six hours woodburning the Alpha-Omega symbol onto the front,” Fr. Mersmann said. “It really just means the beginning and the end. I wanted to communicate on the altar that this is everything — God is everything.”
Though constructing an altar may seem like a heavy load, Fr. Mersmann said it has only inspired him to continue his mission to better all parts of his ministry.
“I always want to improve, move, create, solve,” Fr. Mersmann said. “We have been doing work in the chapel, and pretty soon we are going to incorporate some awesome images of the Sacred Heart. I love seeing those types of results”
On Aug. 31, Fr. Mersmann witnessed his labor come to fruition at the first all-school Mass of the year, led by one of his greatest role models, Archbishop Joseph Naumann.
“I was just so glad I got to offer up this gift to the Archbishop,” Fr. Mersmann said. “I definitely felt edified and grateful that he was here to celebrate Mass.”
As the school year is well underway, Fr. Mersmann said he hopes to see this creative sentiment spark inspiration across the school.
“We all have God-given gifts that we can use to benefit the community,” Fr. Mersmann said. “I know I’m not stopping. It’s who I am.”