Church Architecture

New Round Window Installed

The reconfigured round window was delivered and installed today and looks terrific.  It is not visible from the interior of the church, but will be illuminated at night and visible from outside the church. Besides preventing an unhindered view of the church attic, it will shine a beautiful harmony of light from the church steeple.



Interior daylight view from bell tower

Artist's First Rendition For Christ Enthroned In Heaven For Holy Cross Reredos

We were so delighted to receive not simply a small painting for our first review from Zu Zheng Yu, but a beautiful work of art. Those who saw the 25% sized panels  in the reredos space itself were enthralled and the comments we received were universally positive.

It is far too beautiful to hide, so for now we have placed it in the exonarthex. 

After discussing some theological and compositional adjustments to the piece, we eagerly await the next work.


Our Dutch Lectern: The Unboxing


Well, it made the trip from Holland safely and it looks (and smells) great. There's one slight difficulty which is illustrated by the last photograph, which is "life size." Seriously, I thought everyone was short back in the 1890's, especially the Dutch. Some adjustments are in order, or it may be that the lectern will, like the ambo, be located on a lower step than the person using it.



Marble Statues Restored, Work Begins on Altar

Artisans at Rugo Stone have completed the restoration of our three marble statues for the church interior - St. Mary, St. Joseph and the Sacred Heart. 

They have now begun work on the altar and have sent this picture showing the preliminary mock up of the colored marble designs on the front of the altar in cement board.

Preliminary MU of altar panel in Cement bd


A color design sketch of the altar is below:



Christ, Head and Teacher, is the true altar, his members and disciples are also spiritual altars on which the sacrifice of a holy life is offered to God...Christians who give themselves to prayer, offer petitions to God and present sacrifices of supplication, are the living stones out of which the Lord Jesus builds the Church's altar.

...But it is in keeping with the eucharistic mystery that the Christian people erect a permanent altar for the celebration of the Lord's Supper and they have done so from the earliest times...In every church then, the altar is the center of the thanksgiving that the Eucharist accomplishes and around which the Church's other rites are, in a certain manner, arrayed.

Dedication of a Church and An Altar, USCCB


Color Stain for Pews

IMG_5472Here's a sample of the custom pew stain for our Church, with all the proper disclaimers about monitor variations, etc. 

I don't have an exact picture of the pews themselves at this point, but we'll post when available. 

In case you haven't been to mass earlier enough to see them (hint, hint), there are slideshows of past week's construction progress beginning about 10 or 15 minutes before mass.

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. 


Friday the Thirteenth Construction

Despite the foggy, rainy morning start, workers accomplished a great deal today. More of the roof sheathing from the original church was removed to expose the framework for the connection to the new church and laying of new sheathing.

Roof sheathing on the new roof construction continued and delivery of more shingles and underlayment was accepted and placed onto the roof for installation.

The architect sent three colors to be considered for the louvers in the church gables. (see below)

More revisions for the cartoon of Mary and the Apostles were reviewed and amended.

Approval was given for a thinner, but more efficient exterior insulation to comply with brand new building code regulations.

Final design drawings for the Rood (Crucifix) to hang in the sanctuary were refined.

And, oh yes, we had a deluge after all the workers went home!

Old roof is readied for a new layer of sheathing
Daylight reaches the old choir loft
The last portions of roof to be completed
LouverFinishes_other 2 (2)
Selection of louvre colors





The natural wood color of the church itself will weather to a warm grey color.

Church Project Liturgical Appointments: Statues

At a meeting last evening, we discussed the immediate goal of determining the number, identity and compositional material for statues of the Saints in the renovated Church.

There are several interior and exterior niches, as well as an outdoor pedestal for potential locations for statues of the saints, now and in the future. Except for the statue in the oval garden, I've highlighted them on the architectural drawings: two on the Ward Avenue facade, one on the West facade, one on a pedestal in the oval garden, one in the entryway balcony, four across the devotional shrines across the front of transept.


A Sub Committee was formed to explore the possibility whether to determine a spiritual theme underlying the choice of which saints or an eclectic mix.

There was consensus to proceed with the acquisition of an ambo from a church in Philadelphia which has been closed, depending on costs additional to the modification and transportation of the piece.

Mary Garden
Marian Garden (partial view)


Triptych for Holy Cross Altar

Triptychs ("three folds") are probably known these days for picture frames and cards or brochures, but their earliest use in art was as altarpieces.  When closed, two panels are visible and when opened, the three interior panels are seen. This permits the art in the sanctuary to reflect the changing liturgical season and to celebrate liturgies with varying degrees of solemnity. Since liturgical art was used as a primary teaching tool about the life of Christ, the saints and Scripture, the use of a triptych allowed the church to display more sacred art in a smaller space throughout the year.

Our architect has been working on a possible design for a working triptych for Holy Cross' new sanctuary space and has recently sent us a drawing of the space behind the main altar (reredos).

Triptych doors closed showing two decorative panels
Triptych doors opened displaying three additional decorative panels

Now our blessing is to pray about the sacred art which might be installed and the timing of how we could finance it!

Church Design and Development Drawings Compete

Blueprint_architect_295081Today we received a set of the completed Design and Development drawings for the renovated Church. This major phase of the project is now complete. The architect and construction manager have already begun planning the Deconstruction/Construction phase of the project, including the second of three more precise project cost estimates. 

Once we move out of the Church, daily mass will be held in the former convent chapel adjacent to the school building. Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament will also be in this chapel until the rededication of the new church and consecration of the altar. Only several minor modifications will be necesarry to recovert the space from a classroom to a chapel, including securing the rest of the building from access through the chapel. Meantime classrooms are being modified in the school to to adjust for the temporary new configuration.


New Liturgical Movement on Holy Cross Church Design Plans

It's interesting to read about the first impressions others have about our church plans, especially given the fact that most of those giving comments are not privy to the nearly twenty year controversial history of this project.

While the bloggers seem to have fastened on the eastward orientation of the church for theological and liturgical reasons, the major improvements possible to the entry doors, gathering space, baptismal font and the welcoming garden plaza to the parishioner entryways from the parking lot seem lost in the current discussion about the reasons for re-orienting the church. 

Check out the article and the comments.

Article on Holy Cross at New Liturgical Movement

NLM masthead

Scozzari Builders of Trenton, NJ Chosen as Holy Cross Construction Manager

ScozzariCongratulations to Scozzari Builders of Trenton, NJ for being chosen as Holy Cross Church's Construction Manager amid excellent competition from three other companies. We thank all who helped us by providing corporate documentation and answers to our proposals.

Our architect now continues the Design and Development phase of the project along with representatives of Scozzari in order to bring the project at budget and on time. Their first collaborative meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday.

The selection of our Construction Manager is an exciting and important phase of the church project. Thanks especially to our Committee members who donated time and talent to attend our interviews and deliberations.


Additional Schematic Diagrams for Renovated Church

The Church Plan Photo Album is back online. Check the photos of the plans and the new schematics.


Main Floor Plan

Main Floor Plan of Holy Cross Church

This view shows the arrangement of pews and the main configuration of the ground level. 




Lower Level: Meeting Room, Rest Rooms, Mechanical/Electrical and Storage



Choir Loft
Upper levels showing Choir Loft and the upper Sacristy Storage Space




A cross section of the renovated Church.