Breaking News Bar

A shining St. Mary's is rededicated

  • The Very Rev. Eugene H. Wojcik, of "Father Gene" celebrates the re-dedication of St. Mary's Church in Chester.

    The Very Rev. Eugene H. Wojcik, of "Father Gene" celebrates the re-dedication of St. Mary's Church in Chester.

  • The holy water.

    The holy water.

  • A plaque has been installed inside the double doors of the church.

    A plaque has been installed inside the double doors of the church.

  • A stained-glass window.

    A stained-glass window.

  • Bishop Edward Braxton pours holy oil on the new altar during the rededication service at St.Mary's in Chester.

    Bishop Edward Braxton pours holy oil on the new altar during the rededication service at St.Mary's in Chester.

  • Servers Ethan Colvis and Nate Maes.

    Servers Ethan Colvis and Nate Maes.

  • Monsignor Dennis Schaefer of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Red Bud, returned to St. Mary's, his former parish, for the rededication.

    Monsignor Dennis Schaefer of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Red Bud, returned to St. Mary's, his former parish, for the rededication.
    PHOTOS BY Judy Shields/Shots by Shields

  • Janet Vasquez introduces herself to Bishop Edward Braxton, of the Belleville Diocese.

    Janet Vasquez introduces herself to Bishop Edward Braxton, of the Belleville Diocese.

  • Young Will Petrowske meets Bishop Edward Braxton.

    Young Will Petrowske meets Bishop Edward Braxton.

  • St. Mary's was packed with parishioners for Sunday's rededication.

    St. Mary's was packed with parishioners for Sunday's rededication.
    Photos by Judy Shields/Shots by Shields

  • Anointing congregation with holy water.

    Anointing congregation with holy water.

  • The figure of Christ on the cross, suspended.

    The figure of Christ on the cross, suspended.

  • A view toward the front of the sanctuary.

    A view toward the front of the sanctuary.

 
Herald Tribune staff report
updated: 11/29/2019 12:12 PM

Experts and volunteers gave the venerable Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Chester seven months of their best efforts, and the payoff on Sunday was spectacular.

Parishioners crowded into the renovated sanctuary to celebrate and share the joy. St. Mary's is 150 years old in 2019.

The extensive work included demolishing and reconfiguring the sanctuary, as well as the more practical jobs of pulling up the old carpet and taking out the old HVAC system. The church was completely rewired, repainted and re-floored.