Previous month:
September 2013
Next month:
November 2013

October 2013

Basement Wall Pour Complete

Today's concrete pour for the walls was completed by late afternoon right on schedule. Five concrete mixers supplied concrete for hours, as the pump truck delivered yard after yard to the wooden forms. Meantime workers guided the pump, eliminated air from the mix, and eventually leveled the walls embedding steel footings for some of the columns. It was fascinating to watch not only for the technology involved, but also for the teamwork and coordination between the workers.

Tomorrow they will begin to remove the forms and start laying forms for the floor. There is a construction project site meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

In a way, today's job marks the true beginning of construction - for the first time since the project has started, a permanent addition to the new church was completed. Much more to come with photos tomorrow!


Panorama Views of Church Basement Ready for Wall Concrete Pour

Church from Field
View from the Fill Hill

Choir Loft 2
View from the Old Choir Loft, what will be the view from the Sanctuary Cross. Missing is the basement excavation under the matching north transept which will reach out to the rectory. The north transept will be slab on grade, i.e. no basement.

Too Tall to Fit

Basement Exonarthex
Basement View in the Exonarthex, western most part of the church.

Say Goodbye to A Faithful Servant

Sadly, it appears our trusty parish truck has reached the end of its useful lifespan. Not only does it require replacement of many of its vital systems, but most importantly the undercarriage and structure of the vehicle itself has rusted beyond safe operating conditions.

Not only did the transmission get a thorough workout with the plowing of each snowstorm, but salt from its salt-spreader and the decades of ocean air also took a gradual toll.

In its lifetime it served capably as a plow for the accumulations of snow less than 2 inches, a salt-spreader to combat ice patches and black ice and transported innumerable trees, shrubs, bushes and mulch from the nursery to Holy Cross. Its most glorious service, I suppose, was its use in town parades a float when it never looked better!

For the time being we will likely do without a replacement truck. Years ago, not only did we own the truck, but the parish leased a large SUV for runs to the store, pickup purchases, etc.  We will need to assess how to plow the parking lot from minimal accumulations of snow. Most of the other uses for a parish vehicle can be deferred. Any ideas?

Hard work
Looking Good

Blessing of the Animals St. Francis - Part II

Despite the earlier light drizzle and cloudly sky, a faithful contingent arrived to praise God and ask His blessing on their beloved pets. Gone are the days when a so-called "designer breed" was the star attraction at such blessings; today a baby piglet got tremendous attention!

All today's creatures were four-legged and except for our baby pig, either dogs or cats. The biggest, strongest dog was a young German Shepherd, who looked quite healthy and handsome. Miss Amy Evans, one of our teachers, brought her newly rescued Basset Hound - who surprised her new owner with an expressive bark and howl. Mr. Eduardo and Mr. Jose each brought their dogs on different days for blessings and Mrs. LaPlante was joined by her husband with their two Portuguese Water Dogs for the morning's blessing.

We learned that even small dogs have the determination and mischieviousness to cover the entire house with toilet paper and that Portuguese Water Dogs love macaroni and cheese.

We recalled St. Francis love for all creation and his love of Jesus Christ and the poor. We hope that our kind and responsible care for our pets teaches us respect for life and concern for all those who cannot speak for themselves.



Blessing of the Animals 2013


Holy Cross Youth Ministry Mum and Pumpkin Sale This Weekend 10/5-10/6

Mr. Feerst, Miss Evans and Miss McCarthy were putting the final touches on the mum stand and the pumpkin patch for this weekend's sale. Mums, pumpkins and cornstalks will be on sale after all the masses this weekend, and during dismissal after school. Hopefully, our well tended plants will be scooped up quickly

The corn stalks are still green and we hope with plenty of water, the mums will stay that way too. 

Proceeds from the sale support the Youth Ministry budget and are much appreciated.



Mums and Cornstalks On the Go

St. Anthony and His Pumpkin Patch
Customer Service Pavilion

Mr. Feerst and Miss McCarthy Sort Mums By Color.

Bleachers Full of Mums


Blessing of the Animals St. Francis Saturday Morning 9:30 AM October 5th

Yesterday's list of God's creatures for blessing included: a gecko, a dwarf bunny and breeds of dogs large and small. We learned that bunnies will nibble on furniture and that one Golden Retreiver has learned to trick family members off the couch so he can have their spot!

After praising God and recalling some facts about the life of St. Francis, we blessed our pets and asked God to help us be good stewards of all God's creation. Each pet was sprinkled with holy water. Home baked doggie peanut butter flavored dog treats and a commemorative ribbon of the day were distributed to all who came.


Don't miss this year's final St. Francis blessing of the animals on Saturday morning at 9:30 AM outside Holy Cross Chapel.


Today's Construction Progress

The forms for the concrete are taking shape.

South Wall of Basement

Samples of the concrete for independent lab analysis. These might look suspicious out of context!

The intricate weave of rebar at the northeast corner of the basement.

Forms to save passageways in the cement. Is E for the Electric Company?
The first time the basement seems too small, we should all remember this picture!

Not the Baptismal Font...the elevator shaft.

Test of Construction Webcam

Here's a screencap from earlier this morning of the construction site. It's taken from inside the old church toward the parish field. The camera is not yet ready to go online live and it's only temporary but it was configured by our business manager and our school IT technologist. 

The construction manager is working on a Scozarri designed solution as well, since the construction trailer has hard-wired internet. 


Screencap of Construction Site 10/2/13



Pastoral Visits to 2nd Grade

AzhandsraiseYesterday my visits to the Second Grade happily coincided with 2A's reception of the Holy Cross Mass Attendance Award.

The personality of each class is sometimes very different, partly based on the teacher's methods of teaching and the mix of the childrens' personalities. Yesterday someone in each of the classes asked "When will the new church be ready?" So, of course, that was quite a discussion. Mostly though, they were interested to tell me stories. While we were looking at the mass attendance graph in Mrs. Huthwaite's classroom on the whiteboard, I was impressed that the children seemed to easily interpret the bar graph. It seems to me that was a lesson saved for much later in the "olden days" when I was in grammar school.

For some of these classroom meetings, I generally let the questions drift around a bit, making a teaching point here or there as the opportunity presents. At other times, their studies in religion, or in this case, their preparation for First Holy Communion will be some conversations we need to have. 

Thanks to the teachers for preparing their classes so well. I have to read more thoroughly on the lives of the Saints now, since the classes are reading about the saint of the day before they attend mass! 




Construction Site Quiet?

MancoverearsIf you thought everything was a little quiet on the construction site yesterday, you were correct. The workers were assigned to another project for the day.

They're back at work today aligning the rebar and preparing to erect the inside wall of the construction form for the basement concrete pour. That should be about two weeks away.

The additional storage trailer is due to arrive on Thursday so we can rescue our pulpit (ambo) from potential danger in the former St. Francis Church in Philadelphia. 

The weather couldn't be finer; we have been blessed.