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SOUTH END -- While it was certain to be a grand occasion, the late August ordination of Bishops Robert P. Reed and Mark O'Connell could also have been very uncomfortable -- if not for the temporary air conditioning installed at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross just for the occasion.
It was "a really powerful, marvelous day for the Archdiocese of Boston. I think there was a really lift created. Obviously, two terrific men were selected," said John Corcoran.
"Not having people perspiring and ready to pass out during the service allowed everyone to stay more focused on why we were there," he said with a laugh.
It was Corcoran, President of the Waltham-based Trinity Partners, LLC, along with Kevin Gill, president of McCusker-Gill, Inc., who made the air conditioning possible, paying out of pocket for it.
"We wanted to do this just because we felt it important for the event, given the length of the expected service, and with several thousand people in there, we didn't want people to be uncomfortable, or even beyond. I think we succeeded in that," Corcoran said.
The air conditioners, two 25-ton units powered by two generators, stood outside the cathedral on the lawn area adjacent to Msgr. Reynolds Way. Ducts coming off of the units were snaked in through the bottom panes of the cathedral's stained-glass windows, circulating cool air keeping ordination guests comfortable, even as the exterior temperature approached 90 degrees.
Units that large are a first for the cathedral, although Corcoran noted that during the Aug. 9, 2001 farewell Mass for Bishop William Murphy, who left to serve the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York, "they did do some air conditioning, but it was mainly in the sanctuary."
Corcoran said he believes that the units will set a "precedent" for similar events at the cathedral.
"Who knows, maybe they'll be some more episcopal ordinations in the not-so-distant future or some other like event," he said, saying that now "we have a protocol."