More than two years ago, the clock tower of St. Mary Catholic Church, located less than a block from our house, was struck by lightning. It was apparently a massive lightning strike, because it not only froze the hands of the clock, it also affected the structure of the roof and the church itself — necessitating the closure of the church building and large-scale renovation work to repair the damage and allow the church building to reopen to parishioners.
We’ve been following the reconstruction work with interest, because St. Mary is our neighbor and a key part of the German Village community. At first, progress was slow, as money was raised and plans were developed, but then a construction crew moved on site and the pace of work accelerated. Most recently, we saw the crew working on repouring and reconfiguring the outside entrance steps and then repairing the sidewalks outside the church — which indicated that the crews had completed the difficult interior roof and structure work and were getting close to finishing up and putting the church into a position to reopen.
Last week Kish and I were sitting outside, enjoying a night were the temperature had skyrocketed to the low 60s, when I heard the deep bonging of the St. Mary clock tower bell for the first time in a long, long time. Of course, that meant that the clock in the clock tower had been repaired and was once again telling the correct time. It was a welcome sound, indeed — indicating that our neighborhood was whole again.
Welcome back, St. Mary!