Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Chair Fit for a Pope

The Becks County Courier-Times interviews Matt and John Huprich, of Huprich & Son woodshop in Perkasie, on making a chair for Pope Benedict:

Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting the United States this month and the Huprichs had been put in charge of making sure the pope had a comfortable place to sit when he greets close to 400 Catholic bishops and cardinals at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on April 16. ...

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime shot,” said John Huprich, 48, who took over the day-to-day operation of the family owned business from his now-71-year-old father in 2002.

“How often do you get to make a chair for the pope?”-

The project was commissioned by Monsignor Walter Rossi, the basilica's rector.

Rossi phoned St. Jude Shop in Havertown, which promptly drew up three sets of designs. Once one set of plans was selected, the job was given to the Huprichs, who specialize in liturgical furnishings such as altars, kneelers and pulpits.

They had about six weeks to complete the project.

A papal chair isn't all the Huprichs were commissioned for. They also made two smaller chairs that will flank the pope's chair as well as a pair of kneeling benches that the pontiff will use for services during his visit.