ALLELUIA! We survived Easter! Thanks to all who made this celebration so special: the lectors, ushers, servers, environment decorators, musicians, Eucharistic ministers, my brother priests, and all who attended and sang and prayed. ALLELUIA!
Meanwhile, the renovation of our church exterior continues. The large stone cross on top of the tower has been removed. It was held on literally by chicken wire and aluminum foil. I breathed easier after it was taken down. All the stone has now been taken off the exterior of the tower, and by the time you read this they should be removing the stone from the front of the church. They will start at the top and work their way down to the bottom. Once there, they will then start installing the new stone, starting this time at the bottom and working their way up. It should take a couple of months. Then they will go on to replace the front of the rectory.
They also have been busy in the interior of the first floor of the rectory, framing out the new nursery and the new, more usable meeting space. Through all this my brother Paulists have been extraordinarily patient and understanding with the noise, the dust, the disruption of construction crews wandering through our house, etc. We will all be glad when it is done.
And after all the stone work is completed, construction will begin on the new lobby and bathrooms. The lobby will be an additional entrance onto Guadalupe Street that will open onto the new bathrooms.
Meanwhile, a crew from Illinois is working on cleaning, repairing, re-patching and sealing the exterior walls on the other three sides of the church and rectory. That is a tough job, and it has taken them many tries with different products to find what will work best on our stubborn stains. But they are persistent and are getting results. One parishioner told me that she was pleasantly surprised with the results of one test section and that it reminded her of Jerusalem! Needless to say, that made my day. If we can go from being a gray, grungy and particularly unattractive exterior to reminding people of Jerusalem, we will really have accomplished something worthwhile in this project.So as we go through the noise, dust and disruptions, know that it is all for a good cause. Thanks to all the donors of this project, thanks to the architects and engineers and Property Committee and those who figured this project out, thanks to the workers and contractors and laborers who are making it happen, thanks to all of you for your patience and support. We will soon have not only a beautiful church community but a beautiful church exterior to match.