EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) – The year-long renovation to the Saint Benedict Catholic Cathedral in Evansville is complete.
Church leaders are celebrating this week with a dedication and mass.
Saint Benedict Bishop, Joseph Siegel, recalls when he was first advised of the major renovations to the church and couldn’t help but agree.
“The architect itself was beautiful but it just needed that kind of restoring that renewing kind of TLC.”
“I think it’s fair to say that we had concepts of how beautiful it would be and how lovely it would look but I don’t think that we had the ability to envision that it would be this spectacular, says Father Godfrey Mullen.
Today, Father Mullen gave us a tour inside of the newly restored church.
He says the $3.2 million renovation goes beyond cleaned windows and a fresh coat of paint.
Including new modern pews made comfortable for seating and restored statues added to the Baldacchino.
Father Mullen says the restored statues were all made possible with the help of a local Boy Scout who raised money to earn the ranking of Eagle Scout.
But the most essential part of the upgrade is the one worshipers can’t see.
“Probably the most substantial work that was done in the renovation is the electrical work throughout the building. Most of the electrical work was original to the 1928 completion.”
But upgrading the church to the 21st century wasn’t easy.
“The renovation really I think has been a struggle for many of our parishioners. It has not been easy to worship in this space when there was scaffolding literally covering the entire ceiling.”
Father Mullen says maintaining some of the original architecture from the early 1900s was also difficult.
As church leaders stand inside the renovated space, they say it was all worth it.
“Just the beautiful work, the floors, restoring the pews… It’s just been a wonderful experience to see this happen.”
The official dedication is scheduled for Wednesday at 2 P.M.
(This story was originally published on November 4, 2019)