Merry Christmas and thank you to everyone who supported us on this renovation!
Phase III Photos
About the Renovation
In 2009, a major renovation of St. Mary Church was begun. Phase I included extensive structural repairs on the roof and painting the trim of the church exterior.
Internationally known architect Duncan G. Stroik of the University of Notre Dame was hired to guide the renovation of the church’s interior. The first phase of the renovation has been a great success; it focused on renewing the sanctuary of the church with custom Italian marble slabs along with a magnificent marble altar rail, pulpit, and baptismal font.
The sanctuary gutted during renovation (left) and the beautiful finished sanctuary floor (right)
You can review the remarkable progress made during Phase I in our photo albums.The new church was officially dedicated by Bishop William E. Lori on May 7, 2010.
The second and third phases of the restoration are now underway. With the exterior of the church having been painted, now some of the most exciting parts of the project have begun. You can see photos of the Phase II and III progress on this page. The painting of the interior sanctuary and ceiling with a French blue for Our Lady and Gold Stars was done by one of the finest church interior painters in the country, John Canning, Inc. This phase also included lighting throughout the church, and ane new state-of-the-art sound system built by Pascomb, Inc.
News 12 Connecticut featured the renovation work at St. Mary Church in a recent news segment.
Before and after photos as of September 2012
The campaign for the Final phase has begun in October of 2012 and will include:
- Painting the remaining portion of the interior.
- Construction of a central reredos, designed by Duncan Stroik, and an original oil painting of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (7' by 13.5') by artist Leonard Porter. (Read an article entitled The Dangerous Path on Leonard Porter and also visit his website: www.leonardporter.com)
- A rood beam of the crucifixion, with Our Lady and St. John the Evangelist standing beneath.
This renovation is a major undertaking for the parish and we are asking for the support of all parish families.
The Painting of the Interior
Perspective drawing of the interior of St. Mary Church after phases II and III
The Central Reredos
Elevation drawing of the sanctuary after phases II and III
Leonard Porter's Modello (conceptual painting of the final reredos image)
The Rood Beam
Computer renderings of the rood beam design by sculptor Peter Kelley
On August 21, 2013 News 12 Connecticut did a splendid segment on the renovation. Watch the video below or read the article on News 12's website.
Phases II and III - Photos of the Progress
The first phase of the renovation focused on renewing the sanctuary area, with some of the most notable items being:
- Restoration of the side altars
- Installation of an altar rail (the original had been removed during a prior renovation)
- Installation of new marble flooring on the altar
- Addition of a new elevated pulpit
- A new free-standing altar, which can be moved for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass on the high altar
Other important changes during the first phase of this renovation were:
- Installation of a confessional on the main floor of the church
- Installation of a new baptismal font near the entrance of the church
The side altars that were originally a part of the design of the church were removed during a renovation in 1989. One of the major changes during Phase I of the renovation was to restore those side altars. The installation of a marble altar rail also helped return the church to its neo-gothic style roots.
For preaching the Gospel and for the celebrating priest's sermon, a new pulpit was also installed. The style and
construction are of the same period (mid-19th century) as the
Front view of the new, renovated altar
Elevation of the new pulpit
Other Important Changes
While the sanctuary area was the focus of Phase I of the renovation, the addition of a confessional on the main floor of the church (something which was curiously lacking) and the installation of a new baptismal font near the entrance of the church (its position symbolizing the entrance to the Catholic faith) are two other key changes that occured during this phase of the renovation.
New top-down view of the church (entrance is on the left, baptismal font in the upper part, confessional in the lower part)
Phase I - Week-by-Week Photos of the Progress
To walk along the journey of Phase I of the renovation, you can browse the week-by-week photo galleries below.
|Click on the thumbnails below to view galleries of the photos.|
|Week 1: Construction started on January 4th, 2010.|
|Week 2: Now that the floor is completely opened up much of this week was occupied by the engineer for Edward Stanley Engineers, LLC, doing structural analysis to ensure that the floor will be able handle the weight of the new sanctuary. Next week the framing will begin.|
|Week 3: Framing begins and subfloor of new altar is installed.|
|Week 4: The cement is poured for the sanctuary.|
|Week 5: This week was spent cleaning the various marble pieces with a white chemical which is wiped on the marble, and then sealed with plastic. The white mud seeps into the marble and draws out all the dirt.|
|Week 6: Much of the work going on this week went on in workshops outside of the church, including building the freestanding altar, the staircase to the pulpit, and cutting the marble slabs according the templates.|
|Week 7: Now that the sanctuary structure is fully built, much of this week was spent preparing the final details of marble installation.|
|Week 8: Installation of the marble floor of the sanctuary continues.|
|Week 9: The marble floor continues to be put in - and now there is enough marble to start the installation of the beautifully carved altar rail.|
|Week 10: More work on the marble, kneelers, and confessional.|
|Week 11: It was a dramatic week, with many additions. Here are the about 10 new pews in the front of the church, made to match the existing pews. Also note the new pulpit stairs.|
|Week 13 (Holy Week): Holy Week was truly blessed this year at St. Mary's with the newly renovated sanctuary ready for the special ceremonies of the week. More photos of Holy Week can be found on the St. Hugh of Cluny blog.|
See the other pages in our Renovation & Renewal section for more information on:
Or go back to the renovation home page.