Cathedral parishioner makes temporary altar, pulpit


A common theme in the Old Testament is the building of an altar of thanksgiving for God’s infinite fidelity.

Even on sojourn, even in exile, God’s people built Him altars of sacrifice from the earthly materials He provided.

So it is for the people of Cathedral of St. Joseph Parish in Jefferson City, who are worshiping in temporary quarters this year while the Cathedral is being renovated.

They needed an altar for Mass, and God sent parishioner Clarence Koenigsfeld to build it.

More specifically, Father Louis Nelen, the pastor, asked him on God’s behalf.

“It’s like building a different type of a cabinet,” stated Mr. Koenigsfeld, proprietor and chief carpenter of Toby’s Cabinet Shop in Jefferson City, who built the moveable altar and pulpit for Masses in the St. Joseph School gym.

The 30-by-60-inch altar is fashioned of raised panels on all sides.

The matching pulpit is embellished with an inlaid cross of darker wood.

The altar and pulpit have wheels so they can be easily moved.

It was ecumenical work. Mr. Koenigsfeld said an employee who is Lutheran helped with the work.

“We built it here at the shop,” said Mr. Koenigsfeld. “It took a couple of days.”

Fr. Nelen said he plans to move the altar to the Cathedral Undercroft after renovations to that space are completed later this year.

Sunday Masses will then be celebrated in the Undercroft until the main part of the Cathedral is completed about a year from now.

“Of course, we’re looking forward to being back in the Cathedral for Mass and using the beautiful new altar that’s being built for it,” Fr. Nelen noted.

“But this is beautiful, too, and we extend a huge thank-you to Clarence Koenigsfeld and Toby’s Cabinet Shop for building it,” he said.