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State of the Parish, June 10, 2012

Post Dedication Announcement Regarding Construction, Liturgical Artwork and Devotional Life (Article 3, Vision Toward the Future): December 23, 2011

This Christmas Season is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon where we are, where we have been and where we are going with regard to the future of our parish development.  While we continue to face many challenges, we go forward as a pilgrim people of faith.  The Wise Men followed the star which lit the heavens and in its bright glow the earth received the promise of God’s eternal Love.  We too continue that journey which has led us to our first Christmas in this beautiful new church.  So we rejoice in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and are encouraged to continue to follow the path that God has intended for us, confident of His providential love.

In my previous two articles I informed you on the progress of the long “punch list” and on the progress we are making with the liturgical artwork of the parish.  We continue to move forward in both these areas, however more work is necessary.  The landscaping work to complete the two water retention basins and the run off by the Cold Spring Elementary School had to be postponed until the spring.  Other work considered “change orders” that have developed from the punch list will take a few more months and possibly into the spring.  Still no specific date can be confirmed.

I had reported previously that the marble artisan, Luigi Bracaliello, was to return in October to complete the work for which he was contracted.  His arrival was delayed due to some other churches which needed immediate attention.  I am happy to report that he is back on our site and is working on the following:

  • The bases of the Marian and Joseph shrines to the left and right of the main altar
  • a shelf to be placed on either side of the tabernacle in the main retablo
  • the baptismal font and baptistery walls
  • In the St. Juan Diego Chapel:  the sanctuary floor, altar, ambo , retablo and base at shrine area
  • holy water cistern niche in the narthex of the church
  • 6  holy water fonts at the main entrance of the church and the chapel

There is much more marble work to be completed in the future, such as the back walls of the sanctuary    and other places for which we need generous donors in order to move forward.

I wish to inform you at this time on the status of the liturgical artwork that is presently in progress or will be in progress during this upcoming year:

  • Stations of the Cross – Anthony Visco, the liturgical art designer, is working on the compositions for the fourteen stations of the cross.  They will be porcelain tile, full color murals, that fit into the frames you see already in place.  While progress continues, the actual installation date needed to be postponed from February to October of 2012.  All fourteen stations have been donated as memorials.
  • Nativity set – A 30” scale nativity set, made and designed by the Demetz Liturgical Arts Company, in Ortesi, northern Italy, was purchased.  The nativity set will be displayed this Christmas.  Anthony Visco is designing and fabricating the stable/manger that will house the figures.  Both have been memorialized through the generosity of a donor.
  • The Crucifix in the retablo: as part of the original commission the crucifix was designed to have a wood, painted corpus in the round.  The present flat wood crucifixion is temporary.  No dedication date has been set as it is still a work in progress with the artists and artisans involved.  The memorial donation for this has been already received.
  • Chapel altar – two shafts of wheat and grapes made in bronze on either side of the altar base in the Saint Juan Diego Chapel, designed to symbolically support the altar mensa. Design phase is complete and waxes have been prepared for bronze casting.  Donors are sought for both castings of the wheat and grapes.
  • Baptistery: the St. John the Baptist bronze statute and the holy oil ambry have been memorialized by two separate donors.  Completion anticipated in the spring or summer of 2013.

Post Dedication Announcement Regarding Construction, Liturgical Artwork and Devotional
Life (Article 2): October 15, 2011

I last wrote you a few weeks ago to inform you of the progress we have made since our dedication, specifically in regard to the long “punch list” which is being worked on to complete the present phase of the construction on the church and chapel.  We continue to make progress in this regard with anticipation to finish the list sometime in November.  Other work considered “change orders” that have developed from the punch list will take a few more months.  No specific date can be confirmed.

You may have noticed that some grading of property has been done on the side of the property next to Cold Spring Elementary School.  This was a needed remedy to a water run-off and drainage problem, not anticipated but incurred during construction.  More church furniture will arrive, including hymn boards, tables in the narthex of the church, as well as other tables and lecterns that will assist in the celebration of liturgies in both the church and chapel.   More stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary.  The clear story baffle windows are now complete in the front of the church.  You may have already noticed that the rose window in the narthex of the church was installed in July.  We have much more to accomplish with regard to the stained glass windows.  Progress will slow down a bit as we work toward completion of the clear story baffle and chevron windows.  No date has been set for the completion.

I wish to inform you at this time on the status of the liturgical artwork that is presently in progress or will be in progress during this upcoming year.

  • Stations of the Cross – Anthony Visco, the liturgical art designer, is working on the compositions for the fourteen stations of the cross. They will be porcelain tile, full color murals, that fit into the frames you see already in place. We anticipate installation just before Lent of 2012. All fourteen stations have been donated as memorials.
  • Nativity set – A 30” scale nativity set, made and designed by the Demetz Liturgical Arts Company, in Ortesi, northern Italy, was purchased through the generosity of a donor. The nativity set will be displayed this Christmas. Anthony Visco is designing and fabricating the stable/manger that will house the figures. Donations are still being accepted for this beautiful stable/manger.
  • The Crucifix in the retablo: as part of the original commission the crucifix was designed to have a wood, painted corpus in the round. The present flat wood crucifixion is temporary. No dedication date has been set as it is still a work in progress with the artists and artisans involved. The memorial donation for this has been already received.
  • Ambo relief – Holy Spirit depicted in Botticino marble as a dove with open wings holding script as a symbol of “Verbum Domini” – The Word of the Lord. Design has been completed and we anticipate a finished model for carving to be presented by the upcoming year. While the ambo has already been memorialized, we await the generosity of other donors to complete this memorial.
  • Agnus Dei relief at the alar – carved in Botticino marble, representing the supper of the Lamb, with seven seals attached, as depicted in the Book of Revelation. Design has been completed and we anticipate a finished model for carving to be presented by the upcoming year. While the main altar has already been memorialized, we await the generosity of other donors to complete this memorial.
  • Tabernacle crown – to complete the tabernacle, a marble and bronze tabor with two bronze, gold plated angels holding wheat and grapes, raising the tabernacle another 10inches at the center of the retablo. Design and clay model is complete; we await donors for this tabor memorial as well as for the tabernacle.
  • Baptismal font adornment – while the baptismal font has already been memorialized the ambry and the figure of St. John the Baptist are still available and seek donors. Design phase is complete.
    • St. John the Baptist, a bronze statuette, holding the lamb of God, atop of the ambry, which holds the three blessed oils used in the celebration of the sacraments.
    • The ambry will be an eight sided bronze tempietto adorned with honey comb and locusts, symbolic of John the Baptist.
  • Chapel altar – two shafts of wheat and grapes made in bronze on either side of the altar base in the Saint Juan Diego Chapel, designed to symbolically support the altar mensa. Design phase is complete and waxes have been prepared for bronze casting. Donors are sought for both castings of the wheat and grapes.
  • Front of ambo in Saint Juan Diego Chapel – palm, laurel and olive branch bronze relief. We are in the design phase and await the generosity of donors.

As I mentioned in the first article, there are many memorial opportunities for the liturgical vessels and artwork and devotional life planned, the work completed as well as the items already purchased.  Many parishioners have already taken advantage of this.  We are working on a pamphlet and web page site which will high light those many opportunities. We anticipate publication in the fall.  I encourage you to peruse the pamphlet and/or website to see how you might like to remember a loved one or make a contribution on behalf of your family.

In the future I will write again about progress and to inform you about the other construction and liturgical artwork as it relates to the sacramental and devotional life of our parish.  This too will offer opportunities for those who would like to sponsor memorials.  Additionally, I will update you on Phase II of our construction and the building of our parish ministry center.

Post Dedication Announcement Regarding Construction, Liturgical Artwork and Devotional Life (Article 1): September 12, 2011

So what now?  Where do we go from here with regard to the construction, liturgical artwork and other appointments associated with the devotional life of our Church?  While these questions may be percolating in your minds as we move forward, I wish to inform you of the direction we are heading and what you can expect to see in our beautiful new church in the near future and down the road.   Your hard work, lived faith and sacrifices have proven beneficial and we really are reaping the harvest.

Since the dedication of the church on June 11, we have been working hard with the contractor, the architect and the township to complete a “punch list” of well over twelve pages.  This list includes many various issues that are a usual part of a project as large as this one.  You can imagine that such a large list does not get completed over night.  All have been working hard and diligently to address the issues in the list one by one.  I am happy to report that we are making progress, however, we will still be working through to the end of October and possibly into November.  The items on the punch list include such things as: the sound system, carillon bell system, fire prevention system, hvac system, electrical system, security system, chapel, landscaping, water runoff and retention basins.  There are many other items/issues both inside and outside the church that we are addressing and of which I am confident will be completed by October so as to receive ourpermanent certificate of occupancy.

We anticipate the marble artisan, Luigi Bracaliello to return in October to complete the work for which he was contracted.  This work includes marble for the following:

  • the bases of the Marian and Joseph shrines to the left and right of the main altar
  • a shelf to be placed on either side of the tabernacle in the main retablo
  • the baptismal font and baptistery walls
  • in the St. Juan Diego Chapel:  the sanctuary floor, altar, ambo , retablo and base at shrine area
  • holy water cistern niche in the narthex of the church
  • 6  holy water fonts at the main entrance of the church and the chapel

There is much more marble work to be completed in the future, such as the back walls of the sanctuary and other places for which we need generous donors in order to move forward.

There are many memorial opportunities for the liturgical artwork and devotional life planned, the work completed as well as the items already purchased.  Many parishioners have already taken advantage of this.  We are working on a pamphlet and web page site to be published in the fall, which will high light those many opportunities.  I encourage you to peruse the pamphlet and/or website to see how you might like to remember a loved one or make a contribution on behalf of your family.  We anticipate this to be ready by the fall.

In the near future I will write again to talk about construction and other liturgical artworks that are in progress at the present time and for the future with regard to our devotional life.  Thank you all for your patience, generosity and unwavering faith which is continuing to create the magnificent holy place for us to worship together and revere Our Lady of Guadalupe.

OLG Town Hall Meeting, March 31, 2010