On a cool and crisp Friday morning on November 1st, the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center hoisted its final steel beam into place with a “topping off” ceremony. Friends and staff gathered on the east end of the building next to where the Center will eventually open to celebrate this landmark milestone in the construction phase. Pat Murdock, Executive Director of the Center, was master of ceremonies and speakers included Father Dennis Gill, Rector and Pastor of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul; Robert Briggs, Interim President of American Bible Society; Jim Cuorato, President of the Independence Visitor Center; and John DeFazio, Vice President of LF Driscoll.
Speaking to a room filled with American Bible Society staff, Driscoll Construction workers, and esteemed guests from Philadelphia’s hospitality and cultural landscape, Father Gill opened the ceremony with prayer. Robert Briggs spoke about the importance, now more than ever, of the message of faith leading liberty towards justice being finally represented among the stories of America’s founding. Jim Cuorato welcomed the Center and expressed enthusiasm for the value it will bring to historic Old City Philadelphia. John DeFazio shared his excitement for this historic project and thanked his team of construction workers for making this possible.
The energy at the ceremony was invigorating; workers and attendees signed the beam with enthusiasm. As they watched the final hoisting, the crowd cheered and smiled, shared handshakes and hugs. It was obvious that something important had just happened. It was a tangible moment for all that their efforts had brought about this accomplishment.
Unlike other cultural attractions that have a focus on artifacts, paintings or science interactives, the Center’s focus is a message of how faith enables and empowers us to do so much more. Whether it be William Penn’s faith for his experiment that brought us Philadelphia or the faith we have in each other as we approach the season of good will towards all, the constant is always faith.
The Center’s opening is on time and target; what an amazing moment and message to be celebrating.