Yesterday afternoon, Sunday, 31 August, Abbot Robert Barnes joined Mother Marion and our sisters at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, Crozet Virginia, to break the ground on the site of their future church. The building permit was received this week and the sisters are anticipating building a permanent church to the east of the present structure. In other words, it adjoins their present chapel and will extend the façade of the monastery, balancing the additions built to the west side some years back. The land near the church-to-be will shelter their future cemetery–a much more practical arrangement than ours at Holy Cross! Perhaps they learned a practical thing or two from supporting us at so many of our funerals!
The church will harmoniously continue the style of red brick (how Virginian!) and dressed stone while the bell tower, completed in the first building campaign, will fit in more logically, tempered by the church. Historically, the churches of the great medieval abbeys were often the last thing to be built; it makes sense for a community to pray together long enough to know what sort of space they need and how it caps both their buildings and their daily lives.
Remember the sisters in your prayers as they juggle the inconveniences and challenges of building, the safety of the workers and that all can be brought to a good conclusion.