After dedicated fundraising efforts and lots of waiting, the parishioners of St. Julie Billiart Thursday turned their eyes to the sky and watched eagerly as the outline of a bell tower stretched toward the clouds.
The tower stands in front of the parish, facing 159th Street as a beacon for all parishioners present and future, and is the culmination of nearly $300,000 in fundraising efforts.
"It's been a long time coming," said parish business manager Nancy Pfieffer.
Pastor Steve Lanza called it "a great day."
"This changes the look of the church," Father Lanza said. "The fact that there's a cross at the top of the tower, sprouting out of the top, it announces who we are.
"It's just another way of preaching to people, through the sound of the bells."
The bells have taken a journey of their own, to reach their final destination from a parish that closed. The bells were sent out of state for restoration, where workers chipped away at years of wear, to reveal the illustrious exterior that will shimmer above St. Julie.
The bells will be installed in the coming days, once final preparations to the tower are made.