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September 2013
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November 2013

October 2013

Some Gold, Some Glass and An Ambo

  • We have received a quote and begun working with a studio that will guild the cross atop our steeple. The work will not take long, but will have to wait until equipment is available that will enable workmen to reach the top and remove the cross.
  • The concrete floor will not be poured until Monday due to potentially rainy weather. The blessing is on as scheduled, we'll just have to exercise caution when walking around on the grating. Some people may elect to watch from ground level; no high heels or spikes will be permitted in the basement because they will perforate the plastic moisture barrier.
  • The ambo (pulpit) has been removed from the former St. Francis Church in Philadelphia and will be placed in storage on site. It will be fun to get an up close look at it again.
The base and body of the pulpit. The stairs (removed for transportation) were located to the side and will be moved to the back of the pulpit.

Carvings on the front of the ambo.
  • The patterned side aisle windows from Holy Cross were delivered to Beyer Studio who will fabricate hangings of various sizes from them. We hope to have a sample soon and have them on sale in time for Christmas giving.

Exciting times!


Lots of Progress Since Noon Today!

Basement Floor with Iron Grid and Plastic Membrane in preparation for concrete.

Closer look. Mens and Ladies Rooms to either side of the column rows and meeting room in the middle.

Workmen close off the ramp and pour footings before completing the last section of the south basement wall.
Well, the ramp is closed off. I guess we're using the doorway to get to the basement on Sunday! I think that's either a sump pump pit or the pit for the ejector pump in the foreground.

Preliminary grading of the ground underneath the north transept which will extend as indicated but not have a basement.

These Bricks Were Made For Walking

Thank you to John and Trish Sullivan for donating their paving bricks to Holy Cross and to Corey Wagner for transporting them to us. 

You'll notice them alogside the storage trailer in an artistic arrangement that looks a little like a fireplace!

They will be used to help accent the concrete walkways in the prayer garden along with the memorial bricks.


Gothic Bricks


Busy Day on Site

Lots of heavy equipment was delivered this morning. The men have been hard at work moving some of the earth back along the foundation walls, and grading the sand on the north side of the site near the rectory in preparation to work on the North Transept.

Final preparations for the concrete floor are being made, but the weather forecast for rain on Saturday may postpone the pour until Monday when the weather is looking better.

So far, we're still on schedule Sunday for the blessing ceremony.

Taking a bite out of our fill hills.

Mass Attendance and Confirmation Program

Last weekend our confirmandi gathered after mass to hear an inspiring talk by Detective Steven McDonald of the NYC Police Department on the nature of forgiveness. In July, 1986, Detective McDonald was shot three times and nearly killed. His injuries left him quadriplegic, but he still travels widely to give motivational talks to young people.

Our eight graders had terrific mass attendance at the 5 PM mass. Congratulations to Mrs. Tomaino's class for the best school-wide mass attendance. They only narrowly missed being the first class of the year with 100% attendance.


Mrs. Tomaino's 8A Class and the Holy Cross Mass Attendance Award




People Are Funny

Art Linkletter used to have a show called People Are Funny and perhaps you remember he also hosted a show, Houseparty. One of the features of Houseparty was interviews with young children, who predictably said "the Darnest Things," often to hilarity of the live studio audience.

Linkletter, then Allen Funt and Bill Cosby learned that children will often tell you exactly what's on their minds, sometimes without too much tact. So I always learn a great deal about what's going on in their heads when I visit the classrooms.

Last week I visited the 4th grades and the questions ranged from personal questions about me, to the day's saint, and of course, the new church. The burning question seemed to be when will it be ready. The children always seem excited to learn there will be a basement and an elevator. They are also generally relieved to hear they will eventually get most of the parish field back when the piles of dirt are backfilled and any final truck loads are taken away. They want to know how big it will be and how many people will fit. Also, will the seats have cushions. ("No" on that one.) 

One interesting question from a child in each class, "Why did we need a new church, anyway?"  One young lad even grimaced unconvinced by each of my explanations. My parents used to chide us for having "big ears," when we were particularly eager to listen to gossip or controversial discussions from the "grown up" table at parties. And as Linkletter learned long ago, the kids often repeat whatever they hear at home. One can learn a great deal about our parish by watching and listening to the children at play.

Remember when we were constructing the addition to the school and the new gymatorium? The same question was asked until the day we moved in. As the new steel frame of the church rises and meets the portion of the venerable old structure we've preserved, I am confident that the excitement will continue to build.

I hope you are excited to walk the site this weekend and ask God's blessing on His new home in Rumson. Please join us in prayer on Sunday.



Donor Memorial Book For New Church

It's not too soon to be thinking about the Memorial Donor acknolwedgment in the new church. We're thinking of the following design - a custom made book which can be touched and read by visitors and which can include somewhat more information than simply the name of the donor.  This would be placed in a prominent place in the gathering space, with an icon of the Holy Cross, or other saint(s). 


TAP 253

Exterior Insulation and Plumbing Inspection

The workmen installing the waterproofing and insulation looked a bit like lunar explorers in their protective white suits and rebreathers. The basement underground plumbing passed inspection.

Waterproofing and Exterior Insulation

The stained glass windows from the side aisle windows were packed up and sent to Philadelphia today. Beyer Studios will fabricate hanging panes of glass from some of them, perhaps in time for Christmas gifts. We'll keep you posted on the progress.

Meantime, Franciso is sprucing up the accesible portions of the carriage house with a good cleaning and coats of primer and paint in time for Christmas. The Christmas manger and tree will be located around the Carriage House this year and we're taking advantage of the warmer weather to get things ready!


More Progress

The weather has been turning chilly but still favorable for outdoor work. Within the past few days more work has been done on the underground basement plumbing and the French drains around the periphery of the building, both inside and outside. The waterproofing materials for the outside of the basement walls were delivered last week.

It looks like by the time of the blessing ceremony next weekend, we will either have a gravel basement floor, or the poured conrete floor --too soon to tell. 

We have plans to put the keyboard from the chapel in the basement or in the old church to accompany and our music director was given a tour of the site to begin to plan the places we might gather safely.

Plumbing and French Drain

A Look Around on A Spring Like Day


Plumber installing underground portion of mens and ladies room plumbing.

Outside Basement Door
The elevator shaft takes more recognizable shape.
The Christmas Manger will be displayed alongside the Carriage House this year. A fresh coat of paint and a slight rearrangement of the fences will suit it perfectly!

The Main Entryway Door will be located right above this section. The exterior stair to the basement can be seen on the right.

The opening in the wall at the foot of the ramp will eventually be filled in.
A view from one of the hills of fill toward what will be part of the prayer garden and entry plaza. The Marian Shrine will be located above the spot you can see my shadow!
A hint at what the southern half of the church will look like from Ward Avenue, though the transept is not yet joined to the old church.

The Old Awaits the New

Pretty good view of the old rectory's foundation

Bless the Church Foundation and Basement: Sunday November 3rd after the 10:30 AM Mass

Sunday November 3rd after the 10:30 AM Mass (N.B. This is a change in the time!)

Construction_manufacture_196835Join us to bless the foundation of the new church immediately following the 10:30 AM mass on Sunday, November 3rd. The construction schedule calls for the basement floor to have been poured by that time, but even in the case of delay, we will gather at the construction site to thank God for the progress so far, and to ask God’s continued blessing on the project as we approach the fall and winter months.

The ceremony will be simple – no speeches. (11:15 AM - 11:45 AM).  We’ll sing a Litany to the Saints and have holy water and incense. In case of inclement weather, we will postpone the ceremony one week to November 10th


The Blessings and Curses of The New Social Media

  Two_heart_partsWhile the economy and speed of email, blog postings, facebook postings, instagrams etc. are convenient, many critics of the new social media blame their relative anonymity and the immediate speed with which they can gratify our emotions for a coarsening of manners and civility. I think it is certainly true that in the time it takes to compose and mail a letter, or email the parish secretary or webmaster,  or call and make an appointment or decide to wait and discuss whatever it is that irks us face to face, tempers cool and a sense of perspective is gained. The same message may be delivered with less hurtful language, or we may decide that whatever it is we feel doesn't need to be said or written after all. 

There's no such cooling off period when we fire off an angry email, or start a flame on social media. The speed with which inaccurate, partially accurate or even truthful but deliberately  hurtful information can be spread to damage's someone's reputation, integrity or sincerity is unprecedented and too casually done. Add a drink or two or a drug and you've got a potentially explosive situation.

In politics, false charges when made over and over again become the perception and the perception becomes the reality. It then becomes almost impossible to change even with persuasive truth. That phenomenon doesn't seem limited to politics. 

A pastor, a principal, a teacher, a coach, a parish volunteer, a neighbor, a classmate, even an enemy - none of these surrender their right to a good reputation and the benefit of the doubt. How many times? I don't know, seventy times seven? 

The email addresses and contact information of students and parents in the school, the lists of parish volunteers and directories are published so that we may communicate effectively in ways that build up the Body of Christ in the world, beginning in Holy Cross parish. Modern communication tools give us incredible power - let us resolve to use it for the good.


A Few Updates

Power has been restored to the Carriage House and the front of the rectory. The result is that there will be more light on the construction site during hours of darkness.

We are powerwashing, priming and painting the south wall of the Carriage House which will serve as the backdrop for our Christmas Manger display this year. It won't be quite as visible from the street in this temporary location, but the rectory lawn is too far removed from any pedestrian traffic now, and a spot in front of the brick wall on Ward Avenue would not be as secure. Some of the construction fence will be relocated to accomodate the manger and its inhabitants.

Beyer Studio has started restoration work on the three main original windows from Holy Cross Church - The Discovery of the Holy Cross, St. Alphosus and St. Anthony. Joe Beyer will submit a schematic diagram of the second rose window, The Virgin Mary Surrounded by the 12 apostles and 4 evangelists. This window will be available for memorial donation.



Peek At Basement Wall


It's good to see some structure arising from the piles of sand. Many of the forms had been removed from the walls by early this morning. 


A bright rising sun bathes the basement in warm light.

Many of the forms removed from the interior of the southern basement wall.

The footings are being dug for the interior basement columns.