This past Saturday, the men installed the mosaic in its housing. I was invited to be there at 9AM to watch, but I waited until a bit after 9:30 to show up. To be honest, I was too nervous to watch them carry the mural. It weighs a ton and it had to be carried down a steep, rocky hill to reach the grotto. (I was told their womenfolk were home praying they wouldn't drop it!)
Perfect timing! The men were just putting the mosaic into the stone housing when I got there. It took eight of them to carry it down the hill. Fortunately, prayers were answered and the mural was intact.
The stonework had to be perfectly built so that the mural in its frame would fit like a glove. And fit it did! The parish had the mosaic framed with a plexiglass front. The glass was covered with a white plastic sheet so it wouldn't be scratched while being installed.
There will be a formal "unveiling" later on, but we all wanted to see what it looks like now! At the very least to make sure it was installed right side up. But also because a thin film that covers the plexiglass must be removed. So the pastor had the men peel the plastic off temporarily.
That's the pastor, Fr. Kennedy, inspecting the work.
And the photo above is me with Jim Ference, the mason who was in charge of the stonework. His crew used field stone from an old stone wall that one of the parishioners donated from his property. They did a beautiful job!
The pastor decided that the mural will be kept covered for now to allow time to do some landscaping in the grotto. Then the unveiling ceremony will be at Easter time. But he left it uncovered just for this weekend so the parishioners could get a peek!
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