Sunday 26th June 2022

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Our Church Easter “Reno” Reveal

April 14, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Just as with great anticipation the Church in Lent awaits the new life of the Lord’s Resurrection, so our little church in Benedict, Md., awaits at the same time the great unveiling of the final details of our extensive years-long renovation — “reno” — and redesign project.
Renovation of course means “to make new again.” What will be revealed — beginning on Palm Sunday with the hanging of our lamps and chandeliers and then fully exposed at Easter with the lowering of a great canvas and scaffold to reveal a monumental apse mural — is new in one aspect. The work, materials, persons, and energies involved may be new, but the inspiration is old.
Classic church decoration and architectural traditions have inspired our church’s return to its roots since the beginning of my work as pastor here in 2010.
Our first task involved removing a wood backdrop placed in the 1980s between the antique marble altar and the apse wall. It had become darkened after a fire in the church in 2010. It was removed and the apse wall restored in places where wainscoting and plaster had been ripped out. The wall was adorned with a pediment element of classic rectangle molding surmounted by a triangle. A brass crucifix which originally hung in a Jesuit chapel at Woodstock, Md., replaced a wooden “resurrectifix” in the central location over the altar.
A carrara marble floor was then installed in the sanctuary to replace the blue wall-to-wall carpeting and to match the marble of the altar and extant altar rail.
These improvements remained for a few years as the sole attempts to return the church to its 1924 roots. Later the central molding pediment was painted “de Sales blue,” after the distinctive hue of the habit typical of portraits of our patron St. Francis de Sales. A Holy Spirit dove with gold rays was hung in the surmounting triangle.
As new families joined the parish, attracted to our full weekly schedule of Traditional Masses, sacraments, and devotions, with them came new inspiration to more fully embrace our Catholic roots. Parishioners designed, built, painted, and installed a gradine behind the altar to hold the candlesticks, flower vases, and reliquaries that were filling out our growing collection of traditional adornments.
Years ago, the side altars under our statues of the Sacred Heart and our Lady had disappeared. This no doubt was a result of the fad in the 60s to have only one Mass with numerous celebrants. We wished to restore the teaching of the importance of every Mass offered by every priest daily. Nothing emphasizes the importance of each Mass and the necessity of having more Masses offered than the side altars of every church.
A Mennonite cabinetmaker was commissioned to build our side altars which were then both installed with predellas and marbleized by parishioners. The altars were designed with open fronts so that, through a door on their sides, the liturgical colors of their frontals can be more easily changed with the various colors of cloth on backings.
Gates for our altar rail were found in a church goods warehouse in Pennsylvania where a metal worker restored them and fabricated new hardware to mount them. Our altar rail opening had been widened in the 1980s by cutting off portions and remounting the end pieces at the cuts. We corrected this by having a stone company come in and move the altar rails back toward the center, leaving the proper gap needed for the refurbished gates. These were then installed and anchored by a parishioner.
During the COVID 19 scare we confirmed the century-old ceiling of our church was in a state of near collapse. We called in a plaster renovation firm from New Jersey to begin the nearly quarter-million-dollar project which would shore up and restore the ceiling and walls, replace compromised sections of plaster, and paint the entire interior of the church.
We also took advantage of this work to remove all the pews, rip out the carpeting, and replace it with an eight-inch pine plank floor treated four times with tung oil. We hung four new brass chandeliers in the main church. All of the other lighting, to include fluorescent, was replaced with used vintage fixtures.
The ceiling and two saint inserts above the side altars were painted a very light celestial blue. Details were gilt with metallic gold. The wainscoting of the main church walls a terra cotta. Details such as window frames and sills and molding on the walls and ceiling vent surrounds was painted a dark gray. A rich brown was used for door frames and floor molding. The industrial ceiling vents were covered with decorative screens painted gold and floor vents with decorative brass covers.
A crucifix and Holy Face shrine with a place to kneel for prayer was added to the church near the main front doors. The cry room/confessional/baptistry was painted with a yellow wainscoting and green on the pine floor. Plans call for a real wood confessional to replace our current screen and chair.
Among our new parishioners, I noted that one was an experienced painter. A former Naval aviator, Bob had attended art school and hung out his shingle as a painter of military aircraft. He had been commissioned by George Bush to paint the aircraft carrier named for the president. After noting his artistic abilities, yet with some doubt as to their adaptability to church decoration, I encouraged our designer to contact him and begin discussions.
The two started conferring and agreed to an initial project of trompe l’oeil door lintel murals over the server and priest sacristy doors in our sanctuary. Bob quickly gained expertise in the method and completed the faux “carvings” with roundels depicting St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests over the entrance to the sacerdotal sacristy, and St. Tarcisius, an excellent model for servers, over the door which the acolytes enter to prepare for Mass.
Plans for painting a monumental mural on our apse wall then proceeded, commencing this Lent with construction of a scaffold to support the artist and a canvas to conceal its genesis. The mural is topped by golden rays and clouds “emitted” by the antique window of the Lamb on the book with seven seals. Below that St. Francis de Sales ascends in glory among the rays and clouds supported by two angels.
The mural surrounds the central classical pediment with Baroque columns topped by carved cherubs. The project will continue after Easter with further painting of “sculpted” saints framing the altar and Renaissance style “curtains” on rods around the base of the walls as seen at sites like the Sistine chapel.
Through the generosity of a benefactor, we have acquired two matching Waterford chandeliers and two brass hanging candle lamps to match our central tabernacle lamp. These additional four lamps will be hung to frame the tabernacle lamp in time for Palm Sunday.
At the Easter vigil, with the chanting of the Gloria and the triumphal organ music, we will lower a great violet veil which covers the sanctuary wall, to reveal the beautiful new apse mural. We hope you can join us in spirit, if not in person, as we experience the true joy of total commitment to every aspect of our ageless eternal traditional Catholic faith in a time of betrayal, confusion, and malaise in many areas of ecclesial life.
A blessed Holy Week and a most joy-filled Easter to you and to our families. Surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia! Praised be Jesus Christ, risen Lord, now and forever.
Visit apriestlife.blogspot.com for photos and stories about our church renovation, Catholic news and views and more.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Archbishop Cordileone . . . A Courageous Bishop Stands Tall - https://t.co/fTWI6jkrro

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in historic ruling

The long-awaited victory for the pro-life movement means that abortion will be effectively banned in more than 20 states immediately. WASHINGTON (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Supreme Court finally issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Monday, upholding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban and confirming months of speculation that it would be overturning Roe v. Wade on a 5-4 vote and delivering the pro-life cause its most transformative victory since Roe unleashed nationwide abortion-on-demand in 1973.

Fr. James Martin to host LGBTQ conference with ‘transgenderqueer Two Spirit’ doctor

(LifeSiteNews) – Heretical pro-LGBTQ Father James Martin, SJ, will be hosting a June conference through his newly founded LGBTQ organization “Outreach.” Speakers will include various advocates of homosexuality and transgender lifestyles, all in open dissent of Catholic teaching on sexual morality.  “Outreach” is especially trying to convince churches to support LGBTQ “pride” month, which increasingly involves aggressive sexualization of young children and public displays of nudity and sex acts.

Oklahoma governor signs Texas-style abortion ban, vows to ‘do everything we can’ to defend life

OKLAHOMA CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law Wednesday a measure the press is calling the strictest abortion ban in the nation, on top of other tough pro-life laws that could take effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks. HB 4327 bans any procedure that “cause[s] the death of an unborn child” except in cases of rape, incest, or to save a mother’s life.…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone bars Nancy Pelosi from Communion until she ends abortion support

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced on Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should not be admitted to Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, nor should she present herself to receive the Eucharist, until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion. Cordileone said on May 20 that the step was “purely pastoral, not political” and came after Pelosi, D-Calif., who has described herself as a “devout Catholic,” repeatedly rebuffed his efforts to reach out to…Continue Reading

Justice Clarence Thomas Defends Draft Overturning Roe v. Wade, Tells Abortion Activists We Won’t be “Bullied”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a message for the radical abortion activists who think they can bully the Supreme Court into revising its draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade: You can’t bully us. Abortion activists plan to “raise hell” at churches across the country on Mother’s Day with protests and, some fear, violence as outrage grows in response to a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that overturns Roe v. Wade. But Justice Thomas…Continue Reading

Horseback Punishment

By BARBARA SIMPSON If you saw the photographs in the news from last September, you will not forget them. Bold pictures of Border Patrol agents, on horseback, using reins to control their horses, and surrounded by Haitian aliens who were trying to get into this country illegally.The agents were doing their duty — attempting to…Continue Reading

The Swamp Vs. America… Biden Policies Are Making America Poorer

By STEPHEN MOORE I’ve been struck by the opinion divide on the state of the economy between people with real jobs in America and the elite opinions in Washington.Gallup and other primary and reputable pollsters find that the public is very worried. About 2 in 10 respondents rate the U.S. economy as good or great.…Continue Reading

But Has It Lost Its Sovereignty? . . . The Order Of Malta Has A New Head

By ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI ROME (CNA) — Pope Francis appointed a new head of the Order of Malta on Monday, June 14 even before the funeral of its previous leader Fra’ Marco Luzzago, who died suddenly on June 7.The Canadian-born lawyer Fra’ John T. Dunlap will serve as the lieutenant of the Grand Master, a role…Continue Reading

AOC And Democrat “Squad” Members… Voted Against Protecting Supreme Court Justices

By GABE KAMINSKY WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeNews) — Democratic “Squad” members in the House voted against a bill Tuesday, June 14 extending security for Supreme Court justices despite spending a combined six figures on private security in 2021, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records and House Disbursements.Missouri Cong. Cori Bush, Massachusetts Cong. Ayanna Pressley, Michigan…Continue Reading

Beware: 100 Percent Green Energy Could Destroy The Planet

By STEPHEN MOORE The untold story about “green energy” is that it can’t possibly be scaled up to provide anywhere near the energy to replace fossil fuels. (Unless we are headed back to the stone ages, which is what some of the “de-growth” advocates favor.)Right now, the United States gets about 70 percent of its…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on Apologetics is based on the book Catholicism & Reason. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. You can send them either to the postal mailing address or to the email address below, and we will interrupt this series…Continue Reading

Dangerous Scams And Scandalous Men

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I anticipated a coming storm with pleasure on this early morning as I write. I welcomed the sounds of approaching thunder as a sign of beneficence. I had decided late this spring, after some initial hesitation, that I would participate in the seasonal ritual of sowing and growing after all.There are days it seems the…Continue Reading

One And One And One Are One By MSGR. CHARLES POPE

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this article on June 11. It is reprinted here with permission.) + + There is an old spiritual that says, “My God is so high you can’t get over Him. He’s so low you can’t get under Him. He’s so wide you can’t get around Him. You must come in,…Continue Reading

The Yoke Of Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings:1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21Gal. 5:1, 13-18Luke 9:51-62 In the first reading today, the Prophet Elijah walks up behind Elisha and puts his cloak over Elisha’s shoulders. The cloak, or mantle, was the sign of a prophet, so this gesture showed that Elisha was to be the successor to Elijah.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. A recent Mass reading from chapter 15 of the Acts of the Apostles talked about the decision of the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem not to require Gentile converts to become Jews before becoming Christians. They decided to send a letter to Gentile converts telling them “to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Saints For Corpus Christi

By DEB PIROCH Corpus Christi, the solemnity instituted by Pope Urban IV, is over seven hundred years old. In 1263, the year prior to its declaration, a miracle occurred in the Italian city of Bolsena, which acted as a catalyst for the event.By coincidence, I have been to Bolsena, approximately an hour from Rome by taxi, and I knew of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Bosco

By DEB PIROCH Don Bosco (1815-1888), who became a spiritual father to hundreds of fatherless boys, lost his own father at the age of two. The youngest of three brothers, one a stepbrother, he was born to Francis and Margaret Bosco, peasant farmers in Italy. His father caught pneumonia and died suddenly, leaving his wife a widow at 29 to…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)