Block and Stone

In the hurriedness of a day, it can be useful to pause and reflect. Our liturgical calendar helps us remember by emphasizing the essential points in the life and work of Jesus on their various feast days and those of the Saints of the church as well. Regular calendars, of course, highlight civic events, anniversaries and holidays.

It so happens that 2019 is an anniversary year for the bell tower of the Church of the Transfiguration. Ten years ago at the dawn of 2009, the tower was about 1/2 built (not counting the very deep foundation which had been formed and reburied a couple of years earlier.) As soon as winter weather broke – probably in April – the Pizzotti crew returned to continue pushing the tower sky-ward: 60 feet, 70, big sound lantern windows installed by crane, 80 feet, 90-something feet for the top courses of block and stone. The last few feet to the peak height were taken by the timber and metal roof, again installed by crane.

Meanwhile, our CJ volunteer crews were mobilizing to blitz the laying of porphyry and bluestone pavements in and around the tower. Subject to the weather, it needed special care both in following the intricate design patterns and also to get all the pitching angles correct so water will not pool. As soon as we removed the staging from the tower walls, crews sprang into action during the first weeks of summer. No sooner was the pavement laid and sealed when a large metal shipping container arrived on a flat-bed and was offloaded (not without drama) by another crane. We unpacked all the wheels, frames for housings, headstocks and other arcane accoutrements needed to mount a set of English-style change ringing bells, and the ten beautiful new bells themselves!

How many stages and steps have come and gone in each of our lives since those days. Very hard to measure much less to enumerate. Still, it is well to stop and consider what the Good Lord has wrought among us, allowing us the great privilege of walking, working, learning (leaning) along with him in what he does. Quite amazing.


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About Faithful Friar

I am a 20+ year member of the Community of Jesus Brotherhood, so I live in the Friary with the other vowed brothers along with any novices or combination of guest/ resident men – young or old – who may be with us at any given time. Our vows are the same as any simple or solemnly professed Community member, with the addition of consecrated celibacy and poverty. I moved here shortly out of high school to study music for a summer. At the end of that summer I chose to stay here as a CJ member. Shortly thereafter I knew another change was needed, and asked to be accepted into the brotherhood first as a postulant, later as a novice. My life in the Brotherhood involves a variety of occupations, but they are centered on the continual service of prayer and praise in our church and on the outreach ministries springing from that service. This means manual labor as well as ongoing study and training: theological, musical, technical/ scientific, artistic, historical, philosophical, etc. Sometimes this involves teaching others, so that is part of our life too. It’s a life of poverty and yet full of hidden riches.

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