Two important events related to the construction of the new Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Phoenix, Arizona occurred last week.
The first was on Friday, October 4, with the "Topping Out Ceremony", during which one of the roof trusses (a steel I-beam) was put into place. Specially present for this important construction step was District Superior, Fr. Arnaud Rostand (from Platte City, Missouri) and former pastor, Fr. Trevor Burfitt (from Veneta, Oregon), who was the project's initiator. Of course, also in attendance was the present pastor, Fr. Frank Riccomini, the other priests and religious in residence at the Phoenix priory, and about 250 faithful, consisting of academy students, adults and subcontractors.
Prior to the climatic raising of the beam into position on the new church, a “beam signing” was held, which all the academy children, faithful and subcontractors on the project were included. Then the day's climax occurred with the hoisting of the steel truss into position and set.
The next day (Saturday, October 5) saw another important ceremony, the blessing of the church's cornerstone. Though as a symbolic piece this cornerstone does not have the same structural import as the roof trusses, nonetheless it has a far more religious significance. THE cornerstone (or in Latin lapidis angularis) is of course Our Lord Jesus Christ, "the stone the builders rejected" and thus crucified Him, of Who a church building itself represents.
Present for this ceremony, was from his residence in Chicago, Illinois, Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, those previously mentioned out-of-town and in-town clergy and religious, as well as the Benedictine monks of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery who came from Silver City, New Mexico. Approximately 300 faithful were also in attendance.
Inscribed on the cornerstone's facade were these words:
Our Lady of Sorrows Church October 5, 2013
Stabat iuxta crucem Jesu mater eius (There stood at the cross of Jesus, His mother).
So the new church to be dedicated to Our Lady's Sorrows steadily continues to rise up from the Southwestern landscape of Phoenix, and we will have another update to offer soon about its construction.