Getting close to Heaven

Parishioner Dave Kormanik arranged for the roofing contractor to take Father Ivan Rusyn up in a crane — 127 feet high — Nov. 10 to bless the domes, crosses, and roof of St. Mary in Windber, Pa.

Dave made Father Ivan a hard hat with a Byzantine cross on it and ensured Father Ivan was safely in a harness for the event.

The domes needed repairs because the original bells installed in 1903 were causing some vibrations and structural damage.

The committee chose a green color for the domes because the original domes were copper and over time had oxidized to a green color.

The bells are named St. Stephen (1,010 lbs.), St. Nicholas (600 lbs.) and St. Mary (800 lbs.) Theyare A flat, B flat, and C.

Byzantine churches have round domes to signify that “God is with us.” He lives among us and not just in Heaven. Three domes represent the Trinity.
The crosses were made by an 86-year old blacksmith in Hollsopple, Getting close to Heaven Pa., in 1985.

These three crosses are each different and are copies from churches in Europe where our forefathers came from. Different towns had different designs of crosses.

Our priest in 1985 researched the parishioners’ origins and selected the ones most represented at St. Mary’s. The cross on the center dome is eight feet tall.