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June 2014

Building Under Cover

Three different looks at the roof from the interior of the church:


The roof ridge is now sealed over the old church




Roof opening for the spire attachment




Western end of narthex / gathering space showing the location of the St. Helena window above and decorative windows below



Final Cartoon for St. Michael the Archangel Stained Glass Window

St. Michael revision 1Here is the final cartoon for the St. Michael window which is done in a full size rendering. Minor adjustments to facial expression and other small details can be done at the time of painting.

His proportions have been scaled to saints in the restored windows from St. Francis church and the border will be colored and themed to match these windows as well.

Thanks to the generous pledge of one family, this window will go into production fully subscribed.


Church Docents Wanted

Consider becoming a "church person" for Holy Cross Church! We are planning to train a small group of knowledgeable experts in the history of our church, its liturgical appointments and the saints who will be represented in our stained glass windows and statues. We will provide all the materials necessary and the training, perhaps along with some interactive quizzes to make the learning easier. 

Our docents would lead guided tours of the church on and before the day of dedication and perhaps for the month of January depending on demand and interest. We will also ask Holy Cross School Ambassadors to accept our invitation to become expert church guides.

Please call the Parish Office for more information or to volunteer. 


Window Arches and Some Good News on Construction Timetable

Today's downpour of rain held off until quitting time, so workers completed a full day on the Ward Avenue facade of the old church. They also attached the reinforcements for several of the arched windows on the rectory (north) side of the nave. Attachment of the fleche (spire) of which I spoke at Sunday's masses will have to wait for the fabrication and delivery of a crucial piece of steel.

There was generally good news from today's construction site meeting, especially regarding the timetable for completion. Within a few weeks, it will be possible to plan a realistic date for the dedication of the church by Bishop O'Connell. There are many tasks yet to be accomplished, many of which if delayed can still push the project finish date into the future. (Don't you love Gantt diagrams?)

The windows are scheduled to be delivered and the installation to begin on Friday morning. These are the window frames, neither the regular glass nor the stained glass. Once the glass is installed two weeks later, the building will be water-tight, allowing interior work to begin in earnest.  

The pew finish and kneeler fabric were chosen today, as was the red color for the exterior louvres of the church building and a dark oak cabinetry for the sacristies. 

A new, carrara marble statue of the Virgin Mary for the prayer garden was authorized today. It will be hand carved in Italy.  Final approval for the cartoons of the stained glass window of the Virgin Mary with child was given and additional suggestions were made for the drawing of St. Michael the Archangel. Drawings of St. Anne and St. Elizabeth Seton will be published when the artist submits a rendering.

Measurements were taken from the ambo and podium for the final configurations in the sanctuary and the plans for repairing and crating the smaller copper cross for shipment to the gilder were drawn up. Removal of the cross from atop the steeple is still awaiting a lift or crane capable of reaching it. 

The electrician has been busy in the church basement all along and has completed a substantial portion of the work downstairs.

Good progress, good news.



Another Beautiful Day

Not too much to take pictures of  today. Work continued on carefully stripping the oldest shingles from the sheathing of the original church. The new exterior walls are continuing to be built out and there are some air handling ducts now in place underneath the choir loft. 

Tomorrow there is a construction site meeting. Items on the agenda include choosing some of the finishes for the pews, kneelers and exterior louvres and discussion of a revised time table for the completion of the project.


Thursday's Progress

Plywood on the northern face of the North transept is complete.
Northern exposure of the old church roof has new sheathing


The original shingles are removed to expose a smooth surface for new sheathing

Some of the ductwork delivered this morning.


The Northern Rose Window. It was dark and raining and yet look how bright --- imagine the brilliance of the stained glass in the sun.


Almost all of the roof is complete.

Lets Talk About Christmas on the Hottest Day of Spring (so far)

TreeAs many of you know, I have been reporting that our new church would be ready for worship by Christmas, 2014. The actual date we were given by the construction manager was quite a bit earlier, so we presumed that we would be safe to announce the date as Christmas. However the contractor has moved the "official finish date" twice and it is now around Christmas.

Those of you who have dealt with construction understand the delays that can multiply even without any major setbacks. Since no date we have been given has been accurate up until now, I am skeptical of a Christmas finish, although I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised. Even the new church with its expanded seating capacity was not designed for the crowds sometimes seen at Christmas, so perhaps it might make more sense to look at a New Year's date. Tours of the almost completed new church at Christmas might be feasible.

You know by now, I hope, that with this blog and communications on Sunday, I try to keep you up to date with honest assessments about our project and our parish. I'll keep you posted, especially if the completion date is moved officially by the contractor. We will do our part to encourage efficient construction and hope that Christmas 2014 remains an attainable goal.


Last Mass of School Year 2014 and Personnel Update

SchOutThis Friday will be the last day of school. The closing school mass will be celebrated at 9:00 AM in the gymatorium and all parishioners and their parents are invited.

Our principal, Mr. Belluzzi shared with the school community some changes in school personnel for next academic year and we are happy to reproduce them here:

This is a good time to share with you our staffing news as of this writing. On Friday, we say "Good bye" to long time first grade teacher, Courtney Robinson. Miss Robinson is a graduate of Holy Cross School and has worked very hard over the years to develop in her students an enthusiasm and love of learning. I know you join me in wishing her well as she moves to a new phase in her career.  I also thank Mr. Alyn Heim for teaching the children, especially our youngest ones, to sing so well. He will also be moving on, and we extend our best to him. Finally, Mrs. Tomaino will be taking an additional year off to care for her children, and I pray that this will be a joyful year for her and her family. A positive note for us is that Mrs. McConville has decided to put off retirement; I am so pleased she will again be teaching third grade next year. In my discussions with the faculty, I encourage teachers to consider changing grade levels. Mrs. Arnheiter began her career as an early childhood teacher, and, after several years in fourth grade, has asked to take on the challenge of first grade. Additionally, Mr. Miller, who has worked with us in math assistance and remediation, will be the new teacher for 4A next year. Finally, Mrs. Alison Mitchell, who had been at Holy Cross previously, will be joining me on the administrative team three days per week as the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction and Assistant to the Principal. Alison is very familiar with Holy Cross and will be a great asset. I have already begun interviewing for the open teaching positions (Gr. 8, Grade 5, Grade 4 and Music), and I always look upon this process as an opportunity to shape Holy Cross for some time to come.

Mr. Belluzzi has been working so patiently on cultivating an even more excellent teaching faculty for our children, including dealing capably and calmly with an occasional surprise. I enthusiastically endorse his sentiment that the opportunity to welcome new teachers presents occasions of grace.

Join us in prayer of thanksgiving and petition on Friday.

Fr Manning


From the Sublime to the Mundane

Sheating and roofing continued today. It was very consoling to see some tender loving care being lavished on our old church frame and heartening to see how her profile is taking its part in the overall profile of the new church.

New sheathing and soffit on south side of church
North transept and apse
Diddle, diddle dumpling my son shoe off and one shoe on.
Much work continues in the basement, but it is not yet watertight. Here is the stairwell and elevator shaft to its left.
There's a laundry room?
We're trying to beautify the big pile of topsoil, but the weeds are growing faster than the wildflowers! Here are some cornflowers in bloom.
And some cosmos trying to keep their heads above the weeds.