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  • Pompeii Rising

From the Desk of Fr. Thomas - March 2024 Newsletter

Dear Faithful,

Rejoice, again I say rejoice!

We couldn’t have Easter without Holy Week. From all eternity, the Lord God designed the Resurrection to only follow after Good Friday. I was reminded of this while offering the oldest liturgies Holy Mother Church possesses for you during the Sacred Triduum in Jacksonville. Yes, we went through our own little Sorrowful Mystery as we squeezed in tight since Maundy Thursday without turning anyone away. Yet, how wonderful was the Paschal Vigil and the Easter Mass this morning!

If we view this project as our little Passion, we can begin to see how sublime the Third Day will be when new life quickens the old church. We cannot and should not rush the steps, like the Roman soldiers with their whips. Our Lady is walking with us, and that is comforting. Imagine how many more souls we can squeeze under that magnificent vaulted ceiling of Our Lady of Pompeii on an Easter Sunday, much like today, when we invite our friends and family to come.
Allow me to share with you the progress that was achieved this Lent:

  • The sides and the back of the church now have security lighting.

  • The front is wired for security lighting, and we’ll make sure it is aesthetically pleasing.

  • The large belltower has now received treatment, revitalizing the roof and structure. The original shingles were salvaged after replacing the old wood underneath.

  • To replace damaged masonry, matching stones were cast and are being installed.

Work for Phase II is still ongoing. When our General Contractor advised me that work would not be completed on the originally forecasted day of March 29, I admit, I was a little disappointed. I know it is not uncommon for construction projects to need more time. When I asked for the new target date of completion for Phase II, Auld and White Constructors put May 08 on my calendar. Any disappointment was immediately replaced with confidence that the Blessed Virgin will reward our patience because May 08 is the feast day of Our Lady of Pompeii. I will be sharing some exciting news in next month’s update, including the “Supplica” prayer that I will ask all of you to recite on May 08.

I leave you with some photographs of the work that transpired this March along with a link to the story of how we recovered some of the original stained glass. Please offer your daily Memorare, uniting them with the graces that abound in this Easter Week, for the success of Pompeii Rising.

In the Risen Lord,

Fr. David Thomas

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