Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekly Giveaway #16 - week of 8/24/09

Question of the week:
The photo above shows a close-up of part of one of our recently cleaned statues of the saints.

Who is the saint and what is the saint stepping on?

This week's give-away:
A $30 Gift Certificate from Westside Market. Please patronize our sponsors!

St. Michael the Archangel is stepping on the serpent, a representation of the fallen angel, Satan, or all that is evil.

David Espinosa. Congrats, David!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Renovation and Restoration Corner #6: Saints' Statuary

Our Church is adorned with a wealth of stunning artwork and statuary! We have well over 30 statues representing various saints and prophets throughout the Church's magnificent interior.

Yet, years of candle smoke and incense have muted the grandeur of the space and nearly 130 years of standing in one place can take a toll on anything! Just look at the pictures (below) to see the dirt and grime-covered statuary. Then look at the statues that have been cleaned. It's like a face-lift for the saints!

St. Augustine, dirt and grime-covered
from over a century of candle smoke & incense.

Ezekiel, the prophet, looking worse for the wear.

St. Alphonsus, founder of the Congregation
of the Most Holy Redeemer, newly redeemed himself!

A bright and shiny St. Bridget, the abbess

St. Michael the Archangel, cleaned for the next century

Photos by Patrick Brewis

"MOVING FORWARD" Video #1 - 8/23/09

In our first installment of "MOVING FORWARD" Video, experience the sights and sounds you've been missing in the Main Church as it progresses through the transformation of a lifetime!

This is part of an ongoing effort by Patrick Brewis and parishioner Tatiana Zwerling to create a documentary on the Church of Saint Francis Xavier. Enjoy!

Participate in our Capital Campaign now.  Contact Patrick Brewis at 212.627.2100 x 206 or email

(Click here to view this video clip on YouTube.)

Weekly Giveaway #15 - week of 8/17/09

Question of the week:
Phase I saw the restoration of the exterior of the Church and included scaffolding on the outside of the building as shown in the photo above.

Why is there scaffolding again on the outside of our Church when we are in Phase II, restoring and renovating the interior of our Church?

This week's give-away:
A $50 gift certificate from Vynl Restaurant. Please patronize our sponsors!

Phase II includes the renovation and restoration of the stained-glass windows as well as all of the others elements of the Church. The scaffolding is again on the outside of the Church in order to take out the stained glass windows to clean, repair and restore them.

George Martinek. Enjoy, George!

Capital Campaign News, Week of 8/23/09


THE 3 R's PLEDGE DRIVE - no we're not talkin' readin', ritin' and ‘rithmetic but RENEWAL, RENOVATION and RESTORATION - starts September 12 and runs for 4 weekends until October 4.

The 3 R's Pledge Drive will run 4 consecutive weekends and offers everyone the opportunity to pledge while in Church. Some who have already participated in the Campaign will speak briefly about why they chose to participate. Everyone will receive a beautiful commemorative booklet with a pledge envelope.

More details coming soon . . . be sure to check your email, the web site and the bulletin for more specifics on . . . The 3R's Pledge Drive month! Don't get left behind . . . be in the know about The 3R's!

- Total Pledge Amount: $1,256,186
- Amount Collected: $563,926
- Total Number of Donors: 156
- 7% Participation by Registered Parishioners

At present, less than 10% of our parishioners have pledged or contributed and our goal is 100% participation! Think of how proud you will be when you can say you contributed to restoring your spiritual home.

Mass will once again be in the Church starting Labor Day Weekend, September 5/6. It will be an inspiring time to see all the work that has been done thus far, so be sure to tell your friends to come and see it. You will not believe your eyes! Yet the work cannot continue without our participation.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekly Giveaway #14 - week of 8/10/09

Question of the week:
In the photo above, Patrick Brewis is mimicking someone in artwork that is about to be restored in the Church.

Whom is he mimicking . . . and is he really that high up in the nave of the Church or was this "Photoshopped"?

This week's give-away:
Brunch for 2 at the Hollywood Diner. Please patronize our sponsors!

Patrick is mimicking the pose of St. Francis Xavier. In this non-"Photoshopped" photo, Patrick truly is that high up in the nave.

Cathy Selin & Patrick Traffas. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekly Giveaway #13 - week of 8/3/09

Question of the week:
Many things in the Church are being repaired, cleaned, refurbished and restored as part of our renovation/restoration.

In the photo above, can you identify what the artisan is trying to repair, clean, refurbish and restore?

(Photo: Douglas Schneider)

This week's give-away:
A $30 gift certificate from Westside Market. Please patronize our sponsors!

Organ Screen, in the Choir Loft.

Tatiana Zwerling. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Renovation and Restoration Corner #5: Murals and Statues

As the Xavier renovation and restoration continues, take a look at the transformation of our murals and statues - thanks in great part to the artisans hard at work throughout the summer.

Photos and captions courtesy of Forrest Evan Filler, Conservation Technician at EverGreene Architectural Arts, Inc.

Conservator Gillian Randell performing a cleaning test on one of the angel medallions on the Nave ceiling. Note the cleaned section of the scroll around the letter "L" of "Love."

Photo of half-cleaned angel medallion on the Nave ceiling. Note the left side has elements which were cleaned: the red tunic, the hand, the wing, the cloud, and the lower yellow tunic. The scroll is uncleaned in this photo.

Conservation Technician Liz Kolligs is consolidating actively flaking paint (re-attaching each flake with a thermoplastic resin via injection and ironing) on one of the Stations of the Cross murals in the Nave.

Photo of one of the plaster statues that has a missing arm. EverGreene's sculptors performed the work onsite. Note that from the deltoid muscle to the hand, the completely re-sculpted missing element mimics the Italian style of the sculpture series, taking into account art historical information to complete the compostion appropriately.

Parishioner Perspective #2 - Ted Murphy


Recently, I took an informal tour and saw the in-progress renovation and restoration of St. Francis Xavier Church. In case you have not seen it, I am happy to report that the interior of SFX Church will be much, much brighter! The artwork will be much more visible. And, I believe, its original “Wow!“ factor will have been restored as well as further developed to reflect current times. I am looking forward to experiencing mass there soon.

As we come back in to the Church for mass, sometime in the next month or so, parishioners will be able to view the continuing work-in-progress of our historic St. Francis Xavier Church. The renovation and restoration is an event that is truly worthy of viewing by our neighbors, friends and anyone with an interest in religious art. I encourage all parishioners to tell their neighbors and friends of the developments at SFX. All you have to say the next time you see them is, “Hey, have you seen it?” Believe me, the fantastic renovation and restoration of our church is worth viewing as well as contributing to through the Moving Forward Capital Campaign.

Though the full renovation and restoration will take many more months, the sheer size and diversity of the church’s architectural design and artwork will make it worthwhile to take a moment each week after mass to see the work-in-progress. I’m sure new developments will be on view, be they a fully or partially restored statue, mural or marble column. And, there is so much to see. SFX is full of diverse religious artwork which seemingly reflects today’s diversity of the congregation.

In addition to statues and paintings of its namesake, St. Francis Xavier - an original member of the Jesuits who preached in India, Indonesia and Japan, the church features religious artwork that includes a mural of St Peter Claver - the apostle of Africans, a statue of St. Jude - the saint of hopeless and desperate causes, the Altar of Hope and Remembrance - dedicated to people living with HIV and AIDS, a mural of the Japanese Martyrs and a statue of the Virgin of Suyapa of Honduras. (You may have to look hard for it - like the original, it’s only 2.3 inches tall!)

As for myself, the artwork I most relate with is the San Damiano cross that is carried at the beginning and end of each mass and that stands on the altar at all other times. It is through this cross that God spoke to another Francis, St. Francis of Assisi. His message: “Francis, don‘t you see that my church is being destroyed? Go then and rebuild it for me.” Since then, it has also come to symbolize the rebuilding of the Catholic church itself - a message I really relate to as practiced at SFX.

I hope that all parishioners will take a moment to take in the renovation and restoration in-progress once the church re-opens for Mass. Also, I hope you will tell your neighbors and friends about it and encourage them to visit. Hey, have you seen it? It’s truly worth seeing!

-- Ted Murphy

Participate in this historic opportunity of renewing, renovating and restoring the Church!

Contact Patrick Brewis, Capital Campaign Director at 212.627.2100 ext. 206 or visit our web site at Naming opportunities are still available.

Weekly Giveaway #12 - week of 7/27/09

Question of the week:
Many things in the Church are being cleaned, restored and refurbished as part of our renovation / restoration, including this item (see photo).

Can you identify what it is a part of and what the symbol in the very center stands for?

This week's give-away:
Winner's choice of either: Cufflinks from the late 1960s, or an early rhinestone and pot metal* pin, both donated by parishioner Larry Kiss. Thanks Larry!

* Pot metal was used during WWII when precious metals were unavailable.

Our brass radiator grill; the SFX stands for St. Francis Xavier.

Ethelyn Smyley. Congrats, Ethelyn!