May 22, 2016

I have been AWOL from these pages for the last few weeks, but definitely not AWOL from the office.  Usually December and May are our busiest months—packed with meetings and events and ceremonies.  This year, April was just as busy, and to be honest, some weeks it felt ridiculously so.

But, around here, the busyness is a sign of a lively, vibrant, engaged parish.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, a bit of a round-up of topics:

By the time you read this, the archway should be fully bricked in.  Every morning when I stop by to see the masons (some of the nicest contractors we have had on site!) I am so impressed by the scale of the design and how it replicates the original St. Raymond Church so well. (We got lucky on the brick color!)  

The architect who designed the archway stopped by last week.  It was fun to see his excitement at seeing his design being created.  The archway is serving to add height to what is a large flat expanse of blacktop and it will always  commemorate our parish roots.

Our second project is some adaptations to the ambo.  One of the concerns we have had is that the ambo does not really stand out from dark marble floor and walls.  Bishop Conlon asked us to investigate options to highlight the ambo more.  The photo at left shows  our plans.

Essentially, we will be adding a light marble and bronze edging along the front.  We will also be backing the existing bronze grates on the side with the same marble.  This is  similar to the legs of the altar and the font. 

Frankly, I was a little skeptical about how this would look.  I didn’t want anything to look tacked on, but when we added the sample pieces, I was really happy with how they made the ambo stand out but still looked as though they were part of the original design.

I expect these pieces will be installed in early June.  The side grates are gone to the fabricator to be refinished so everything matches.

* * * * *

The other topic I wanted to discuss with you today is the parish directory.  Thanks to those who have already signed up!  Our dates are filling in—two of the Saturdays are  already fully booked.

Earlier this week, I had a chance to spend some time with the lead photographer for our project.  We “walked” through the photography appointment experience and boy, these guys are pros.  Each individual or family will enter the    building at door 26 and check in with one of our volunteers. 

When your photographer is ready (there will be three on site), you’ll head into the studio (AKA Commons A) for the photography with the blue backdrop.  These are the photos that will end up in the directory.

After that photo is done, you’ll have the option of going  outside for a second setting.  We worked out some spots in the Cloister that will provide good lighting and the only-at-St.-Ray’s distinction of the pillars.  The new archway also caught the photographer’s eye.  You can opt to have your family pose in front of that instead.

Once you have the “say cheese” part done, you’ll have a chance to view your photos and select your portrait for the directory.  You’ll also have a chance to purchase other    portraits and items if you decide.  The sales pitch is pretty low key and fully optional.

If you haven’t already signed up for your complimentary  photo session, please do it this week.  It’s easily done on during the week or at church after all      weekend Masses.  As Fr. Brad keeps saying, it is important that we have everyone included in our Centennial Directory!

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development
815-722-6653, extension 242



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