Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bells of St. Mary Immaculate Heart

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cleveland, O. Sunday, 14 October 2012.

Two springs ago, a strong wind storm blew through, and took off a cross on one of the two steeples. Upon examination it was found that major structural damage had occurred at the base of both cupolas, where they were attached into the masonry; forty percent on the one cupola, seventy on the other. What had happened? Frost Restoration, in the person of the owner, who has been a steeplejack for more than thirty years examined the church. These steeplejacks also worked upon Saint Michael's Cleveland, as there too, the damage was from bullet holes. These are, primarily, wooden structures covered by a copper skin. After many years rain water seeped into the several holes, and then ran down. The holes in the copper allowed entrance of water which ultimately rusted nails and rods, and rotted wood. Some of the shooting had been directed at pigeons, some was by idiots that had nothing better to do. I don't care if the NRA is offended.

Frost Restoration employs an historian, Margaret Lann. Kathleen, wife of the owner, is enamored of this church. They, and their crew, photographed, and took measurements, to be used for future restoration. There are currently three prospective plans ranging from $85-320,000. It is interesting, that recently the parish had been successfully strong armed for a special assessment [Rooted in Faith] of $300,000 by Bishop Lennon. After that was completed, this campaign was authorised. Priorities, my friend.
one cupola and its platform gone from the twin steeples
one cupola on the ground, one bell on a trailer
platform touching down, near the temporary steeple roofs
 a telegenic foto taken from the porch of the house next door, while a quick rain shower falls
one man in lift basket attaching slings
two steeplejacks surveying the removed cupolas below
pictured: The first of two bells in the second steeple being lifted out. This was the bell from the first church building of the parish. It (Franciszek) was made by St. Louis' Henry Stuckstede Bell Foundry Co. in 1894. The second Stuckstede foundry cast nearby St. Lawrence's three bells. Most of America's bell foundries were on the east coast. The only large bell foundry currently is in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The other two bells of Immaculate Heart were cast by the Meneely Bell Foundry of Troy New York in 1920.
Two television stations sent cameramen to film and interview. They spoke to the pastor (Ralph Hudak), the church's historian (Glenn Sobola), and neighborhood children. I do not know if anything aired. The television people were told that the bells were 'baptised', and therefore, had names. The children were interested, and impressed to find this out (as were the cameramen). The children remarked that bells served to wake parents, and they enjoyed the ringing sounds. Glen told them, that it was fitting for them to be named for they had a voice too, and spoke. The bells rang Sunday for Mass, and were recorded to ring for future Masses. They will be put in storage, waiting installation in the restoration.
Pigeons perched on a chimney. They had inhabited the cupolas, and flew past the steeplejacks and their former residence.
left to right: Jožef (Joseph), Zygmunt (Sigmund), Franciszek (Francis)

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