(Many thanks to Elon University for permission to share this story.)
Friar Peter Tremblay, Associate Chaplain for Catholic Life at Elon University, enjoys crafting beautiful objects through woodworking. He recently completed a project that gave him “a sense of peace and pride.”
The idea came five years ago while talking with Rabbi Meir Goldstein, who previously served as associate chaplain for Jewish Life at Elon. Rabbi Meir suggested that Fr. Peter craft an ark. Friar Peter immediately thought of a big boat but Rabbi Meir meant the kind of ark that is used to hold the Torah.
The project was put on hold until about a year ago. On October 27, the completed ark was dedicated and blessed for use by the Jewish community.
In the video below, friar Peter talks about his love of working with wood and how it came about just as he was beginning religious life.
Friar Peter first saw the ark used by Jewish students on Rosh Hashanah. “…when I saw the ark used that Monday morning for Rosh Hashanah, tears were streaming down my face because I knew that some lasting, beautiful goodness had been added to our world and to our community. I was amazed at how wonderful it felt to know that I was able to collaborate to enrich our traditions, to celebrate the relationships we’ve had for so long.”