Thursday, September 12, 2013

101 Days

It was exactly 101 days ago that the movers came and removed the pews from our beautiful and historic downtown Knoxville church. so we could begin the replacement of the church's over-the-hill acoustic-tile false ceiling. Then the scaffolding went up and the work began. The scaffolding is all down now. Yesterday, 101 days later, the movers were back to reverse the process and bring us back where we belong.

It was never supposed to take this long, of course; but so it has. It is what it is, as our linguistically challenged contemporary idiom would have it!

Meanwhile, for over three months now, we have been celebrating Mass in our parish hall, rearranged to serve as our “lower church” for the duration. All things considered, we did a good job of making our temporary “lower church” experience a satisfactory substitute. Our liturgical ministers, Mass coordinators, music ministers, and ushers have all risen to the occasion and worked together to make everything work amazingly well, and I am extremely appreciative of all  their efforts and of the patience and amazingly positive spirit of our parish community during this challenging time.

But now we are ready to return to where we really belong - to the church, that not only looks like a church, but really is a church, that sacred place set aside permanently and exclusively for the celebration of Mass, the central action of our life as God's people in the world.

May every sacred action in our restored church - from solemn Pontifical Mass to private solitary prayer - effectively express God's powerful presence among us, even as he sends us out from here into the world to challenge and transform it!

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