24 December 2013

Christmas 2013

“We therefore celebrate Christmas contemplating Mary and Joseph: Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself totally to God's word; Joseph, the faithful and just man who preferred to believe in the Lord instead of listening to the voices of doubt and human pride. With them, we walk together towards Bethlehem”.
(Pope Francis, Angelus of 23 December 2013)

To all my fellow travelers on the road to Bethlehem, I wish you a blessed Christmas.

03 December 2013

The Wraps Are (partially) Off

Rooftop view of the Generalate's courtyard
It is a good sign when the scaffolding starts to come down! This photograph of the General Curia in Via Piemonte was taken at the end of November. Note the new windows and shutters on the top floor. By the time you read this, most of the windows on the first floor (for American readers, that would be the second floor) will also be installed. Except for the fixtures, the bulk of the plumbing and electrical work is done. The tile floors have been laid everywhere except the ground floor and the basement. In other words, the place is beginning to look habitable again.

Currently, most of the work is concentrated on the ground floor and basement, where there is still much work to do. Even there, however, things are beginning to take shape. It is not unusual these days to have around 80 workers on site who, between the main contractors and the subcontractors, might be working for a dozen different companies. As you can imagine, it takes a great amount of coordination just to keep the workers from tripping over themselves. Thankfully, we have a very attentive and competent project manager, not to mention a very serious, exacting manager of safety.

During the course of the work, it was discovered that one of our two connections to the city sewer had collapsed at some time in the past. Repairs can only be started once all the scaffolding has been removed from that area. It is difficult to estimate how much time it will take to repair the line, but the contractor hopes they can begin the work in early 2014.

We are still hopeful that we can begin moving back to Via Piemonte in late June or early July 2014.