"Young Religious ought to enter blogs and correct the opinions of the youth, showing them the true Jesus" - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for Rome

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lent...in the Shadow of the Cross

Before the dome was lifted, a talented Haydon Building Corp member took this photo!  I love photos of the cross in shadow!  We rest in its shade and learn what it means to stay near JESUS at all times.

And isn't that what Lent is all about - through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving - we learn how to remain united to the Lord in love.  We receive the grace to stay near Him in good times and in bad - safe in the shadow of His Cross.

Friends, as this Lent begins, I am overcome by such a sense of HOPE.  These forty days are sure to bring challenges, self-knowledge, and maybe some frustration, but these are days of GRACE, of NEARNESS to the LORD, of UNION of HEARTS, of SILENCE, and PERSPECTIVE.

The chapel is going up - one stone at a time - so quickly that we can hardly keep up with all the progress.  With construction meetings, the Nun Run quickly approaching, and our daily schedule of prayer and work, LIFE IS REALLY BUSY!  Perhaps the Lord is allowing us a taste of what all of you go through on a regular basis - there just doesn't seem to be enough time! 

And yet, right in the midst of it all, Lent sneaks up on us.  And the Lord says, "SLOW DOWN.  Spend more time with Me.  Get the perspective of the Cross - look through the lens of eternity.  Seek Me in the shadow of My Cross." 

And so that is what we are doing this Lent, and especially this week as our community enters into its annual retreat.  Silence, prayer, spiritual conferences by Fr. Emmerich Vogt, O.P.  Returning to the quiet of our contemplative life - foretasting what the Lord has prepared for us in Tonopah...and above all, of course, in HEAVEN.  So we ask for your prayers, that this will be a holy time, a fruitful time, a time of ever deepening love for the Lord, conversion of heart, and peace of soul.  And we promise you our prayers - as we carry all the intentions of our benefactors, families, and friends with us on this retreat!  In a special way we remember Pope Benedict XVI and the Papal Household as they too are on their Lenten retreat this week!

So this will be the last blog for at least a week!  Enjoy some photos below from Feb. 19th.  You will notice that the Tau Cross was installed on the front peak of the Chapel.  AWESOME!  Also, the mock up of the stone for the Chapel and the precast concrete moldings.  Doesn't it look beautiful!  OK - till next week...


Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Dome has been raised!!!!

Today on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the 24,000 lb dome (a little lighter than we were expecting) was raised up high - on the new chapel of Our Lady of Solitude.  The steel beams for the roof were also perfectly placed.  The JOY was tangible!  

A HUGE THANK YOU to the wonderful construction men who made this a flawless lift.  To Joe and Steve from Haydon, to Carlos and Fatima our architects, to Mrs. Vitale whose generosity has made this progress possible, to all of our benefactors, family and friends: THANK YOU.  To quote from the age old classic movie, Lilies of the Field: "We're gonna build us a chapel."  No, Jesus is buildin' us a Chapel.  A new Eucharistic Throne!  THANK YOU JESUS!!!!
To see a video of the event click on the dreams to reality link.  

Here are the captions for the photos: 

#1 (above) Smiling, happy Poor Clares!  Standing beneath the newly placed dome.  You really can't get a good grasp of how high the Chapel is from these photos.  It's awesome! 

#2 At about 10:20 am, the crane began lifting the dome high in the air.  All of us who watched were pretty quiet - such anticipation!  We sang the Salve Regina as it sailed through the air.  After that you would hear little prayers uttered here and there by some, others offered the silent prayer of awe and wonder!
#3 It didn't really seem to take too long from to lift the massive dome.  It landed perfectly on its perch - flawless.  There was much rejoicing by those construction men on the scaffolding, guiding the dome to its perch - high fives all around.  It was the largest lift of this particular company.  WOW.  

#4 At such moments of elation, it's hard to believe that the whole world isn't feeling the effects of our joy!  This theory became more believable when several fighter jets (we think they were F-15s) flew right over our chapel.  We were posing for a photo with our dear friends when they flew over and the bottom photo shows everyone's delight...especially since we had 2 daughters of a navy pilot in our midst!