One of my great grandfathers was an Irish immigrant who worked as a plumber at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. His son, my grandfather, was more of a gardener and painter (walls and furniture, not canvases) than plumber, but we inherited a lot of the tools great grandfather used.
There were all kinds of mysterious tools in the basement of the home in which I grew up, including any manner of rasps, hand drills and bits, miter boxes, assorted moldings, sharpening stones, saws of all kind and drawers of heavy monkey wrenches of all sizes.
My grandfather's solution for almost anything that didn't turn out straight was "put a piece of molding around it."
Well, we're adopting his solution for the inexplicable gap between the walls and our floor in the new church. After nearly a year of hand-wringing and finger pointing over the responsibility for the flaw, we've finally been able to hire Merrick to fix it by...putting a piece of molding over it.
The molding has already been cut and painted, but it will take a while to install, since each of the columns in the church is an octagon, and those alone will take eight small pieces of precisely mitered molding.
It will surely neaten the appearance of the building.
It was great seeing our fountain finally flowing again. As you know, the original placement and specifications for the fountain pump were problematic, but that has now been corrected. Some work still remains, but at least we can enjoy the relaxing sound of the bubbling, flowing water.
As you know the summertime raffle was instituted to help the church meet operating expenses during the summer months when attendance at mass and weekly donations usually decline.
Painting and cutting of the shoe molding for around the church and basement baseboards will also begin shortly.
Some members of the congregation from the 10:30 AM mass, members of the Hall family and the sculptor, Nick Ring gathered around our unique state of Jesus Calms the Storm to officially bless and install it on Holy Cross ground.
The statue was donated by the Hall family in memory of NYPD Detective Lieutenant George E. Hall.
It is hoped that the image of Jesus calming the storm will be a source of consolation and peace in a turbulent world and a call to draw closer to Christ in the sacraments of the Church.
Just for a sense of scale, the fence is 4 feet high. This climber decided to hitch its star to the nearby holly tree and keep on climbing. It's on the rectory lawn, must be all the fresh sea air and sunshine!
Tomorrow is the mass for the end of the academic year at Holy Cross. Thank you to all the teachers, administrators and parents who made the year so special - a true celebration of our Blue Ribbon status among the nations' schools.
All kinds of summer programs are gearing up though, so relax but don't hibernate! Summer sports camps and academic enrichment programs at Holy Cross abound. So check out the offerings on the school's website.
May Almighty God keep all our students and their families in his providential care over the summer months so that all may return rested, refreshed and ready for school in September.
Today's feast of St. Columcille, one of our window saints at Holy Cross, gives us much to think about.
Whether banished from Ireland or self-exiled, he left his homeland and pursued his vocation on Iona and in Scotland, ministering to and converting the Picts. His responsibility for the deaths of 3,000 men in the Battle of Cooldrevny, essentially over a dispute with St. Finnian over the copyright to a psalter Finnian owned, motivated him it is said to convert at least as many souls to Christianity.
It is good for us to understand that saints have made mistakes, sinned. Sin doesn't prevent their eventual sanctification, just delays it, perhaps in a way even contributes to it by way of sorrow, compunction and repentance. We can turn away from sin. We can be forgiven, but sin does change things. Columcille left Ireland or had to. His departure didn't ruin his life, it gave him a new direction.
St. Columcille, pray for us.
Holy Cross Church has closed out the construction contract in non-binding mediation (a required prelude in our contract to either binding arbitration or litigation). The settlement provides that Holy Cross pay out the balance of the contract less sufficient money to complete what the construction manager had not yet done and correct deficiencies.
Quite soon, you should see shoe molding installed throughout the building and around the columns to hide the gap between the floor tiles and the walls. The main entry doors will also be either adjusted or replaced. They must open smoothly from right or left doors and insulate from drafts and precipitation. As a fitting commentary on the agreement reached on Tuesday, one of the exterior doors partially dropped off its hinges and wouldn't close at all over the weekend.
Jesus' admonition to settle with your opponent before taking things to court merits prayer, even if it's not always practical. Justice can be expensive and isn't guaranteed in this life anyway.
Meantime the church building has deftly handled the congregations at Christmas, Easter, confirmation, graduation and First Communions without a hitch. Thanks for being patient and supportive. Deo gratias!
Tonight's mass followed by graduation will mark the end of Class of 2016's time at Holy Cross School. We pray for their continued growth as disciples of the Lord in wisdom, age and grace.