Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Farewell, All Saints

     I just called Masontown this morning and the secretary, Linda, answered "Good morning, All Saints."  I was her first call of the morning.  I reminded her that it should be "Good morning, Saint Francis of Assisi".  She said that she was glad that I was the first ... she was going to make a sign for the phone.  Today is the first day of the existence of the new parish in that area, and transitions are difficult.

      Speaking of Linda Rohol, the secretary in Masontown.  She is an exceptional woman of faith who has served as secretary/bookkeeper/master of all things at All Saints for a multitude of years.  She has served loyally under seven pastors of varying styles and temperments and personalities over the years.  I was her second.  She is indeed a trouper, and a supurb individual.  One of the first things that I did upon arrival was to give her Saturdays off (she would work the mornings) and soon after we expanded the cubby hole that she had as an office into a decent work space.  She was grateful, and that same work space is where she answered the phone from this morning.  It has held up nicely - good quality materials pay off.  She, and the other office staffs of the six parishes, are in my prayers, along with the new pastor, Father Bill Berkey.

     One wonderful thing that we diod at All Saints was to place a beautiful statue of Mary and child in the side yard of the church.  This was during the special Marian Year in the late 1980's.  We took donations, purchased a carrara marble statue, had the men build a base and surrounding flower bed, landscaped, and dedicated the shrine on Mother's Day of that year with Bishop Bosco doing the honors.  It was a project that was well accepted by the parish and the community.  In fact, we received much acclaim from the Presbyterians across the street for beautifying the corner and providing inspiration.  The statue that we chose was of a seated Mary with her child seated on her lap, facing her and gazing lovingly into her eyes.


     All Saints was a small little church with some beautiful features.  We had an awesome oak high altar piece that had already been restored and which served as the centerpiece of our work.  There was an unusual "crucifixion window" behind the altar that we cleaned, restored, lighted and had the painted wooden framework stripped and stained to match the altar.

     We found an old "side altar statue base" made of the same oak as the altar and had that stripped and made into a fitting ambo.

     The Stations of the Cross were an unusual treasure - oil on canvas paintings - which we had beautifully framed for preservation.

     The high ceiling was of small acostical tile which we replace with a light, tongue in grove oak ceiling.  WE framed the side windows in oak and added shadow boxes to light them.

    There were so many things that were done to not only keep up the place but to beautify it.  I was blessed to have as one of my successos Father Jim Bump who moved the process even further.  But in all of that, it did not begin to compare to the people that I met and worked with, and the memories that I have for a brief five years that have enriched my life.

No comments:

Post a Comment