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November 2014
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January 2015

December 2014

Pray for Bishop O'Connell

By now you have heard of Bishop O'Connell's surgery and that he is recooperating in a local hospital. The bishop underwent a below the knee amputation of his left leg due to a serious infection in his foot.

 We have been praying for him at all our daily masses and will continue to do so this weekend and beyond. His post-op condition is good and after a period of recovery and rehabilitation, he expects to be visiting parishes and attending liturgies as usual. 

A statement from the Diocese of Trenton

Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., Diocese of Trenton, underwent surgery, Dec. 29, in a Trenton area hospital to remove his left foot, ankle and part of his lower left leg reaching halfway between the knee and the ankle. The surgery was needed to address several serious infections brought about by diabetes.

Bishop O'Connell's surgery was described as successful by his surgeons, and his recovery is going well. He will remain in the hospital for a brief period of observation, and then will be moved to a local rehabilitation center. He is expected to make a full recovery, and will be fitted for a prosthesis at a time to be determined by his doctors.

We ask members of the community to pray for Bishop O’Connell in the coming weeks and months, as he recovers and completes his rehabilitation. Anyone wishing to send a card or note may do so at the following address:
Most Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M.
The Chancery, Diocese of Trenton
701 Lawrenceville Rd.
Trenton, NJ 08648
Attn: Office of Communications

The Last of 2014

Well, there are simply those times when...


Nave and South Transept


More of the barrel vaults


Wooden square and round columns for covering interior steel columns


Remember these? A few of our old lamps didn't survive being moved several times, so the cracked glass is being replaced. Meantime these are on the dining room table in the rectory. Extra points for spotting a vizsla...


Our trumpeting angel without trumpet, which is being gilded.

Church Tours in 2015

3 D model of Holy Cross Church
3 D Model of Holy Cross Church

A few impromptu tours of the church went well over this past weekend, so we can resume them in the New Year depending on the weather. Bitter cold or wet/icy conditions on the job site would postpone any tours. No sign ups are needed, as the tours will be announced at the end of mass whenever they are being led. 

More ceiling barrel vault forms were delivered today, as workers had already installed all the pieces on hand. As you have seen from the pictures, the nave ceiling is complete. Once the forms are in place, they need to be spackled and painted. 

Our Holy Rood (Cross) will be delivered this Wednesday along with the three wooden pedestals for the marble indoor statues of the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary. 



Meantime...the Lord must build this house

The top of the interior dome has been attached. The orange weight is attached to a winch which can be raised and lowered to hang objects (e.g. Christmas wreath) from the ceiling.
View from the altar
View from the courtyard

I hope you saw some of the Christmas lights inside the church. New LEDs make it possible to change the lights to any color(s) and in any sequence. These lights will eventually be placed downstairs to allow us to control the basement lights in pleasing sunlight or natural light colors when desired instead of the glaring flourescent for everyday use. We'll probably leave the colors running until they install the church fixtures.

A skeleton crew was working on Friday and workers put in a half day on Thursday. There is still much to accomplish. Understandably, but unhappily, the construction manager is now calling off vendors who have completed or are about to complete their tasks and giving them more time for things like pews, the installation of the altar, statues, etc. We'll need to get a handle on the message he's giving them lest they become the source of even more delay.

Thank you to those who have expressed understanding and encouragement during this phase of the project, which comes with its own frustrations. I can only imagine what it must take in oversight to get a project in on time and on budget: oversight of the overseerers of the overseers..."of the house that Jack built."

Anyhow, the Lord must build this house, with our help. My prayers for a joyful 2015.


Our Holy Rood Nears Completion at Christmas


The antique wooden carvings of Jesus, Mary and St. John have been restored and refinished and are ready to be installed on and around the cross. The lower photo depicts the cross and the platform at the foot of the cross on which St. John and Mary will stand.

One of the three pedestals for the marble statues of the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph is also shown. I can't wait until we can see them in person!


Carols at the Christmas Manger and Lighting of the Christmas Tree TONIGHT!

Join us at 7 PM for Holy Cross Annual Carols at the Creche and Christmas Tree Lighting. Our faithful collection of live animals, including a donkey for Mary to ride and Joseph to lead will be there, along with plenty of good cheer, carols and Christmas joy. The weather looks promising (at least it might not be as COLD as last year!)  and the spirit is right.

Look for a special view of the new church (if all things work out as planned...)


Silent Night

The eastern wall of the sanctuary. All but the arched windows will eventually be closed.


One pair of the retained old windows now has new frames and new glass. These will be the Resurrection and Ascension windows from St. Francis Church.


New glass under the plastic


More of the ceiling arrayed.


Wallboard for the choir loft ceiling

Sunset from the St. Helena window


Christmas creche at Parish Center from the window in the south confessional.

576 Stars for Jesus Twinkle Brightly

Holy Cross parishioners donated generously to the Christmas gift drive, many taking the time to shop for the gifts requested and wrap them festively for delivery this week to the agencies which had asked for our help in granting some Christmas wishes.

Over 576 gifts were donated! 

Thank you to the parish volunteers who organized the drive and to all who gave generously to spread compassion at Christmas!


8th grade students helped sort some of the many gifts.


Just some of the brightly wrapped gifts placed in plastic bags ready for agencies to pick them up tomorrow.

O Mary Conceived Without Sin

Miraculous Medal
It's never really easy preaching or teaching about the Immaculate Conception of Mary and especially on the solemnity which occurs right before Christmas and with a gospel reading of the Annuciation to Mary of the Virgin birth.

"O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us," helps us keep matters straight in our head and our hearts. Through the merits of Jesus' suffering and death, Mary was preserved from original sin in order that she could serve as fitting bride for the Holy Spirit and be Theotokos, "God-bearer" for all humankind. 

All within a few weeks, we give thanks for God's twofold gifts to us: Mary, whose Immaculate Conception particpates in the greatest gift of all, the Incarnation though which the Son of God shared in our human nature and redeemed us all.