OK, here's an update which will appear in an upcoming bulletin. Sorry to be so preoccupied.
See neighboring post for pictures! Anyway, here's where the project stands:
Ø Our friends at Brian Brothers have completed most of their work, but have a few final details. They have been great to us, as always.
Ø Michael and Ann Blanck are continuing their detail artwork on the walls. The ceilings are—but for the inevitable “final touches”—complete.
Ø A friend of Father Ang’s is working hard on our statues. She is doing this at no charge—simply as a gift to God.
Ø Celia has lovingly restored the three statues that were in storage for many years, as well as St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother, and the Sacred Heart statue, and the body of our Lord that is on the crucifix. The angels that hold the lamps have also been repaired and are being repainted.
Ø We hope to be able to restore the statues of St. Anthony and of Mary holding her Son’s dead body as well. Pray for Celia and her family who are helping with this!
Ø A crew from the Floor Store of Versailles is finishing the tile floor in the sanctuary, and just starting on the hickory plank floor in the nave. This is why we relocated adoration to St. Mary until April 6. The pounding from two weeks ago was the sound of installing a substantial sub-floor that has made our floor stiffer, more level, and should eliminate most squeaks, at least for a while.
Ø Bob Paulus, whose company this is, gave us a price that earns him little in worldly riches, may God bless him with eternal wealth for his good price! We will be calling on a crew of helpers to install the floor in the balcony before long.
Ø The carpeting in the vestibules, sacristies and on the stairs will be installed soon.
Ø The bathrooms have been painted and the sacristies will soon be painted.
Ø New light fixtures have been installed in the sanctuary; brighter lighting will also be installed in the back, and the remaining fixtures will also be brighter. If we decide we want still more light, we can make further improvements.
Ø Our new pews will arrive in a couple of weeks.
Ø Soon Michael and Ann will hurry home to Wisconsin to complete the paintings of our six saints we are adding. We’ve asked a lot of them and they’ve worked hard.
Ø Holy Week will be busy as everything comes back together and we handle all the last-minute items.
Please note these three key dates and plans:
1. Reopening of the church at the Easter Vigil, Saturday, April 23, 9 pm.
Please gather in the Downing St. cafeteria—rather than in church—between 8:30 & 9 pm. We’ll begin the Vigil Mass, as usual, with a bonfire outside. While the church will be open for anyone who really can’t walk, won’t it be nicer to walk into church with Fr. Tom bringing the Easter Candle, singing, “Christ our Light!”? (If its raining, we’ll simply gather in church.)
This Mass is lengthy, as we recall God’s plan of salvation from Adam and Eve to the Second Adam, Jesus Christ. We will have a group of women, children and men baptized, confirmed, received into the Church, and make their holy communion. It will be “high church” (incense and chant).
2. Blessing new artwork and restored statues, Sunday May 1, 10:30 am.
This is rescheduled from Easter Sunday. This solemn blessing (with incense) will add perhaps 15 minutes or so to Mass, but will be a one-time event. It was rescheduled to avoid trying to do too much on Easter.
As we are honoring several new saints’ images, invitations will go out to folks with a special interest: to the Sisters of Charity for Mother Seton, to Franciscans for St. Francis, and to the Hispanic and Mexican communities for Blessed Jose.
I have no idea who may want to come, but it occurred to me that our Mexican brothers and sisters might be very joyful to have one of their own honored here in Piqua, so we may have some new faces and voices at Mass. Let’s welcome them!
3. Open House for whole community Saturday, May 7, 11 am. This, too, was rescheduled (from April 30).
This will be an opportunity for anyone who may be interested in a closer look at the church, as well as the sacristies and choir loft.
Here’s an idea: do you know folks who haven’t come to Mass? Or maybe you know folks who aren’t Catholic, but maybe you’d like to share our Faith with them in a friendly, non-threatening way. This is a way to do it. Invite them to this Open House. I plan to be there, along with others involved, to answer questions.
Everything is coming together! Please pray for those who have a lot of work to do, especially Mark Pitsenbarger and our many contractors and volunteers. Please pray for all those whose generosity made all this possible.