The Renovation

Merry Christmas and thank you to everyone who supported us on this renovation!

St. Mary Church St. Mary Church

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.

Gutted SanctuaryFinished Sanctuary Floor
The sanctuary gutted during renovation (left) and the beautiful finished sanctuary floor (right)
Color rendering of the completed renovation

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 the renovation  After the renovation
Before and after photos as of September 2012

The campaign for the Final phase has begun in October of 2012 and will include:

  1. Painting the remaining portion of the interior.
  2. 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:
  3. 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
Perspective drawing of the interior of St. Mary Church after phases II and III

The Central Reredos

Sanctuary after phases II and III
Elevation drawing of the sanctuary after phases II and III

Leonard Porter's Modello
Leonard Porter's Modello (conceptual painting of the final reredos image)

The Rood Beam

Computer renderings of the rood beam design
Computer renderings of the rood beam design by sculptor Peter Kelley

News Coverage

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

Phase I

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 Sanctuary

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.

Front view of the renovated altar
Front view of the new, renovated altar

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 church.

Elevation view of the new pulpit
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
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.

Learn More

See the other pages in our Renovation & Renewal section for more information on:

Or go back to the renovation home page.