Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Norwood, MA
Feast of the Transfiguration, Thursday, August 5, 2021
Following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, a procession was made from the church to the patio, where construction will begin for the new entry way (narthex / vestibule), including an elevator.
His Grace Bishop JOHN (Diocese of Worcester & New England) blessed the foundation and broke ground. The following are his remarks:
“How wonderingly fitting for us to be gathered on this day of Transfiguration, when we bless the first fruits of the year and begin a renewal of this holy community. The building of this vestibule and elevator shows both respect for those who have labored in this community over the years and need a little lift to get into the building, as well as to your confidence in your youth and in the future. Because we wouldn’t be bothering if we thought we weren’t going be around, even until to the Second Coming.
This is a church with a beautiful history and a community that is positioned to outgrow the rest of this building in short order. But if you see, Father Joe prepared these white lines of where the building will be, and the elevator will be; and we are going to very much increase our space, and show our hope.
I congratulate you; I love you and I am very, very pleased this day. God bless you all.”
Father Joseph Kimmett, Pastor of Saint George:
Saidna, thank you very much. This day has been a long time coming and I can’t think of anyone I would rather celebrate it with than our beloved bishop. I am so happy that Father Ben [Kjendal] is here from the Cape to also celebrate with us. And most especially, all of you. You have worked long and hard for this and now it is beginning to come to fruition.
We are going to have one more ceremonial turn of the dirt. I am going to ask Joan Cassidy, who has chaired the building committee for a number of years to come up and join me, along with Richard Shay, the current chair of the Parish Council, representing all the Council members who have labored so hard throughout the years. Jack O’Riley, who has been front and center for all of the planning, has contacted the workers and made sure everything is done correctly. And Andrew Howard, who has been Jack’s right hand -- or vice versa, I don’t know. It was probably 100 years ago, it could have been today for all I know, that one of Andrew’s relatives was standing on this very spot, also turning over ground for the first church in this place.
And the shovels were placed in the ground and the dirt turned over thrice, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. A recording of the Matins and Liturgy is on the parish YouTubeChannel (Orthodox Norwood) at https://youtu.be/y0jNz222GrI
The procession, ground-breaking and remarks of the Bishop are at https://youtu.be/lGqAIZ3-r-w
That "big hole in the ground" we have talked about for so long is a reality. Excavation crew begins work on November 2nd.
As Liturgy began for the Feast of Nektarios, one could hear the "beep" of the cement mixer backing on to our property. The footings were poured and on November 11th, the foundation was poured. On the morning of the 15th, the inspector signed-off on the foundation. So next will be backfilling the area of around the new narthex and preparation for framing. Make sure you check out the Photo Gallery on this site, which has more pictures of the work.
Framing, roofing and plumbing
As soon as the concrete "cured" the framers arrived and within a week there was a structure in place. The roofer arrived and shingles (matching the church, of course) were placed on the new building. The plywood on the outside was wrapped with "tyvek" and the place was basically ready for winter.
Next is line were the plumbers who prepared the basement of the new area for what will eventually be new restrooms and a custodians closets with a slop sink. By the end of February we were ready for a concrete slab to be poured. At the same time, the entire building was power-washed and the true beauty and color of the bricks reemerged. And the good news is, that all these years later, we can still find the same bricks, which we will use for the new building.