"Come and help me build the Monastery of San Damiano, because ladies will dwell here who will glorify our Heavenly Father throughout His Holy Church by their celebrated and holy manner of life."
St.Francis speaking of St. Clare and her Sisters

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some new shots of the chapel and A Pew with a View

Hello to our faithful blog readers!  Yes, there is still lots going on in the dreams to reality department :)  Each morning when I wake up, look out the window and see that beautiful chapel looming majestically in the distance, I am in awe.  "Yes, Lord, You do indeed turn dreams into reality."
I am a witness to it.  Seeing that chapel with my own eyes will help me to remember that He is the Fulfiller of the hearts desires!  Enjoy the photos below, taken by Mark Friskel as he flew over this past Saturday in a helicopter.  Thanks, Mark, for the great shots! 

You can get a sense of the lay of the land from these photos, with the Chapel to the north, the houses to the south, and the parking lot in between.  The larger house is the Angelica Retreat House (which is currently the living quarters for the nuns as we raise funds for the actual monastery which will eventually be built on the north side of the Chapel).

As you can see, we are in desperate need of landscaping!  A few trees, flowers, and bit of ground cover would do wonders for both the aesthetic aspect, as well as for keeping the dust at bay a bit!  We would gratefully accept the donation of desert trees, scrubs, ground cover, flowers, fruit trees, etc.  Gift cards to Moon Valley nursery would be much appreciated!   If you were wondering what a good Christmas gift for the nuns would be, this would fit the bill!

We would also be grateful for advice!  What grows good in the beautiful Arizona desert?  What doesn't need a lot of water?  What are some hearty plants that unskilled gardeners can't destroy?   What is affordable, beautiful, will provide some shade, etc., etc. 

To those who emailed asking for an online PEW WITH A VIEW order form, thanks for your patience.  I will be adding a page soon!  Hopefully within a week that will be available!

Just take another minute to look at the photos above. WOW.  Thanks to each and everyone of you who helped turn this dream into a reality!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Beginnings

First...to all who follow this blog...allow me to apologize for not updating this sooner.  Preparing to move has consumed the better part of our days these last few months.  And finally, it's happening!  Once settled I look forward to sharing the details of the Chapel construction progress with you all.  Be patient as we get our feet on the ground in our new home and get settled! Then blogs again will be a regular occurance.

Please make note of our new address:

Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration
Our Lady of Solitude Monastery
P.O. Box 639
Tonopah, AZ 85354

(note: our website and email info remains the same)

Thanks for your prayers as we make this transition!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dreams...to reality - in the blink of an eye!

We've all heard the saying: "Can't see the forest through the tree."  Well, I believe this is how this whole construction project has been for us.  Last year, when construction began, at least a few of us would  head out to Tonopah to check things out.  Stone by stone, we saw the form of a chapel begin.  The year flew by and progress continued.  As the months went on, our treks out to Tonopah became more and more frequent and the progress seemed to go more and more quickly.  The reality of it all though has sunk in more slowly than the actual construction! :)

It wasn't until the cleaning crew came in at the beginning of this week to 'shine' everything up that it really hit me: OUR DREAM HAS TURNED INTO A REALITY - through the grace of God, the generosity of His children, and the hard work of many wonderful people. 

Each step of this journey has been STEEPED in prayer - as is evident in the final product which is more beautiful than we dared to dream.  Enjoy this video update below.  We are still several months away from being able to have the Chapel consecrated (will keep you up to date on that) - as we await the completion of the pews and a few other interior appointments.  But those months will fly by - as this past year has...and soon enough this beautiful chapel will be a place of prayer for the people of Phoenix!  We look forward to that day as well! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More pics, at long last

OK, everybody, at long last here are some additional photos...with more to come soon!  The last few weeks have been incredibly busy, as things at the building site continue to speed along.  You just gotta see the progress to believe it.  Each day brings TONS of new and exciting progress.  Several jaunts out to Tonopah are in the plans, so look for more photos soon!

Crucifix in the Sanctuary of the Church

The Nuns checking out the view from behind the cloister Mass choir grille!

"We love it!"

WOW... The floor is coming along beautifully!

Welcome home, Our Holy Father Francis!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You gotta see it to believe it!

OK - there are somethings that you just gotta see to believe! The Reredos of Our Lady of Solitude Monastery are one of them!  Well, you know what, as wordy as I can be...I will refrain this time...and just let these photos speak for themselves!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And the progress continues

This is a very important week in the construction progress - as our friend and wood carver, Alexander  began installing the reredos and other chapel appointments.  As you can see in the photos below, everything arrived in tip-top shape - after it's long voyage across the ocean.  Alexander began constructing the reredos today and will finish within a week.  Joe is keeping us updated via photos - so we will be posting often in the next few days so you can share our excitement as well! 
Steve and Sr. Augustine opening the doors that will adorn the top portion of the reredos.  The symbolic Phoenix will be viewed from the cloistered side

The completed (or nearly completed) cloistered Mass choir

The reredos in many pieces...ready to be assembled

The star of david light in the vestibule

The Lamb of God doors will be viewed from the public side of the Chapel

The nearly completed chapel exterior - newly stuccoed portion above the columns looks awesome as does the precast entry way.  WOW.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stained Glass Installation

Each time we go out to visit the chapel and see the progress, we are amazed at the progress.  But on Saturday, August 7th, as the first 6 stained glass windows were installed in the chapel was something beyond amazing!  Kudos to Bovard Studios for the fine job they did with the windows.  

Sr. Augustine and myself were out there to see St. Francis installed.  His face is spectacular.  Then Sr. Esther Marie and Sr. John-Mark Maria arrived to see St. Clare, St. Anthony, St. Faustina, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the Poor Clare window installed.  It was an overcast day in the desert - yes, every now and again we have an overcast day!  And it was actually cool in to the morning, dipping down to the low 80s.  The Bovard installation crew enjoyed this relief from the heat.  It may get hot in Iowa, but there's no heat the August Arizona sunshine.  The sun made an appearance in the afternoon - long enough to light up all the vivid colors in the windows.  Enjoy the video of the event below.

Fundraising continues on the remainder of the windows.  Please consider donating towards these beautiful representations of our older brothers and sisters in the faith - the SAINTS!  Click here to learn more about the windows!  Our sincere THANKS go out to those who have donated for the windows.  We look forward - with your financial help - to sending a few more windows into production soon!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Good Shepherds...

Custom Good Shepherd floor tile for the public side of the Chapel

 "I am the good shepherd.  A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep."

Above you will see a medieval representation of the good shepherd.  This custom made tile, designed by Michael Coster, shows Christ the Good Shepherd standing fearlessly before the ravening wolves.  The Sacred Heart crowns the tile.  I love this image.  It will find its home on the public side of the chapel - to encourage those who visit to entrust themselves to the Good Shepherd - and to experience his strong protection.  Other custom tiles highlight different events that draw the mind to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.  More tile photos to come!

Whenever I think of the Good Shepherd, I give thanks for the priesthood.  How often have we experienced the shepherding of Our Lord through the guidance and care of a priest.  We are blessed this week to have 2 wonderful priests and 1 amazing brother visiting with us.  Each shine forth so uniquely different aspects of the Good Shepherd.  Long time friend Fr. Jim Parker, from the Diocese of Rockford, is visiting!  Br. Francis, CFR, is visiting as well.  He brought his long-time spiritual father, Fr. John Newman from Bradford, England.  It is wonderful to get to know Fr. Newman!  And see the Good Shepherd continue to care for his sheep through these 3 wonderful men of God...

Joe, Br. Francis, Fatima, Steve, Sr. Marie St. Paul, Fr. Newman in newly painted cloistered Adoration Chapel
Joe and Fr. Newman checking out the view from the reredos. Where they are standing is the exact place where the Tabor and Monstrance will be enshrined.  The reredos will be assembled by the carver, Alexander, in September.  For those who have donated for the reredos, the book containing  your names and prayer intentions will be placed at the feet of Jesus
The primer paint has been applied to the main portion of the Chapel

Sr. Marie Andre with prayer warrior, Fr. Jim Parker!

Sr. Marie St. Paul and Joe!  What a great photo...

Da Dome!!!!  Also see the parking spots in the background.  YAY

Loving all those angles!
Cloistered Adoration Chapel - the altar will be placed where the workman is standing.

view into the cloistered Adoration chapel.  The windows there will eventually be the nine choirs of angels.  3 of which are being sent to production.  Pics to follow soon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stained Glass Window Update!

When Bovard Studios sent the email with these photos, I wish you could have heard the Sisters' reactions.  We are SO PLEASED with this window.  Our Lady looks so beautiful and life like.  It's the face of Our Mother...how could we not rejoice!!  This round rose window will be seen as you enter the Chapel - holding pride of place which is fitting since Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of Phoenix (and the Queen of our hearts).  Her consoling words wrap the window: AM I NOT HERE WHO AM YOUR MOTHER?  Bovard is now painting and leading this window!  Thank you Al and Donna Gillis, whose generosity brought this window into reality!

Below we see one of the Bovard employees hard at work cementing the St. Clare window.  Our thanks go out to the Kline Family for donating for this awesome window of our foundress! 
 Don't forget there are several giving opportunities for other windows!  We are heading out to the site to see the progress on Thursday - so I promise another update soon!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July Progress

10 weeks and counting until the construction on the Chapel is completed.  Then there will be some finishing up on the interior appointments - but the main construction will be done.  WOW.  Below is a video of the July progress thus far.

Also, below are some of the latest and greatest photos.  Most of them are included in the video, but if you want a closer look or a longer look, I wanted to include them as well.

Here's Joe's update from yesterday:
The roof tile is nearly complete with just the loggia and pumphouse to finish.  The exterior stone and precast is complete with the exception of the column wraps and narthex entry.  The exterior trim is being painted at this time and the stucco will be cured enough for paint in about a week.  Sidewalks, curbs, stairs, ramps and paving are complete.  Time to start fine grading the site and clean up.  The water tank will be leak tested and disinfected this week so that the fire pump can go online and bring water to the Chapel.  APS should be installing the meters and bringing us power this week.  The Chapel interior is progressing as follows.  The chapel precast columns are underway and should be complete within the next week.  The high dome molding is in place and they will begin the low radius molding tomorrow.  Window trim in the chapel is complete with the adoration chapel windows finishing up this week as well.  Stucco crews are finishing the interior of the dome and adoration chapel today.  Scaffolding in these areas will start coming down soon.  Tile flooring is installed throughout the Priest’s vestry area, hallway, restrooms and parlor.  They will be moving through the loggia and sacristies this week.  The Vestries, restrooms, confessionals and parlor are all painted as well as the loggia and sacristies.  Light fixtures are being installed in all painted areas at this time.  The beam wraps and sprinkler work in the chapel are complete.  The entire chapel ceiling will be painted later this week.  Chapel walls are to be painted next week. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June Progress Video

June has been a month of much progress...and more to come before the month closes out next week!  Enjoy this video that will get you up to date on the latest.  There are lots of things on the burner, so to speak!  So please check back soon for updates.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rejoice: we have sidewalks!

Sorry for the delay in this progress report.  Joe sent these pics to us yeterday.  I looked at them in amazement.  So much is getting done!  Amazingly enough, with all the progress (and it truly is amazing), what I got most excited about was the SIDEWALKS!  :)

Here is Joe's more technical update: 
Sorry it’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated you.  You will see that things just keep rolling right along.  The exterior of the Chapel is rapidly coming to completion with the slate being applied to the dome, the windows being installed in the dome and the exterior stone being nearly finished.  The flat roof over the vestries and confessionals was completed on Friday and the concrete roof tile will begin next week after the scaffold comes down from the dome.  

You will see in the photos that the adoration chapel and sanctuary are completely stuffed with scaffolding.  From these frightening platforms men are applying the high pieces of precast around the dome windows, the molding that surrounds the dome, stucco and soon paint.  I white-knuckled it to the top with Steve on Friday to catch the view from the dome windows that only a handful of us lucky people will ever experience. 

The stucco is complete in the main chapel and in mass choir.  It looks amazing even without paint!  Precast is being applied to the interior Narthex entrance and they start wrapping the chapel columns today!!  The walls and ceilings have all been insulated, especially the confessionals.  Steve and I tested them out by screaming in horror.   Couldn’t hear a thing.

Walls and ceilings will be closed up by the end of this week with taping and spackling starting up right away. 

  The site development is well underway.  Curb and gutter are complete.  The pavers will be on site next Monday to start the parking lot.  Sidewalks are poured along with the ramp and stairs to the piazza. 

Hope you enjoy the photos!! How bout those sidewalks!!!!!!! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wait till you see what's been goin' on!

It's been about 2 weeks since I've been out to see the progress.  However most of the other Sisters have been making a few trips each week to see what's goin' on.  When I look at these pics, I can hardly believe it.  I don't think I will recognize the place when I get out there ;) 

OK, I want to quote from Joe again: 
Let’s start from the top.  The precast dome ribs start getting installed today along with some waterproofing.  This should take about a week.  This will be followed by the slate tile.  Stone veneer will start to wrap the base of the dome as well as the remaining portions of the east elevation.  Precast window surrounds at the Adoration Chapel are well under way and should be complete this week.  The arches along the exterior walkway are being framed and sheathed and will receive stucco.  The painter is working his way around the building staining all exposed wood.  The roofer will be drying in the Adoration Chapel this week.  The stucco on the north elevation and pump house is in its brown (2nd) coat and curing.  On the inside we have the stucco crew erecting scaffold in the main chapel preparing to start the plaster finish tomorrow.  Interior precast continues up and around the arches to the altar, mass choir and adoration chapel.  The Mass choir and Adoration chapel will receive their steps this week. Sheetrock is going up in the vestries, confessionals and restrooms.  Mechanical, electrical and plumbing are installing their material in the walls and ceilings.  The site is starting to take shape with curb and gutter going down.  Sidewalks and hardscape will be going down in the next few weeks.
 Now that we got all that down, let's look at the pics!!!  WOW...