Updated: Oct 13
As we begin to hit the “dog days” of summer, I wanted to give another update on the status of the repairs in St. Mary Church and also share about an exciting opportunity for a sneak peek at the church that will be happening later on this week.
Over the last 46 weeks, the painting and decorative stenciling work in the church has been progressing very quickly. As work on the ceiling was finished, the very top parts of the scaffolding began to be taken down. In the last two weeks, all of the work requiring scaffolding has finished and the scaffolding has been entirely deconstructed and removed from the church. This is a huge milestone in this phase of the project, and one that is very exciting.
There continues to be a variety of tasks that need to be accomplished at “ground level,” which means the church is not quite ready to be opened up for regular parish use. As I have learned over the last yearandahalf, promising specific dates when the church will be reopened is a dangerous business, as all it takes is one monkey wrench to throw things off... but barring any unexpected, lastminute snafus, I believe St. Mary’s will be open for regular parish use by early September.
In the meantime, there will be a wonderful opportunity during this upcoming week for anyone who wishes to get a great “sneak peek” at the church. The 138th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus will be taking place as a virtual event, based here in New Haven. As part of that, there will be two Masses celebrated in St. Mary’s this upcoming week. The first will be Tuesday evening (August 4th) beginning at 6:00 PM. It is the opening Mass for the convention and will be aired live on TV on the wonderful Catholic channel EWTN. I also believe it will be available streaming on their website. The second Mass will be the following day, Wednesday at 2:00 PM, which will be the annual memorial Mass that is always celebrated as part of the convention. While these Masses are not open to the public (please don’t try to “crash the party”), by following along on EWTN I’m sure you’ll get a magnificent view of the church and plenty of video closeups of the artwork and decoration. Following the Mass on Tuesday night will be the annual report of the Supreme Knight, which I believe will also be carried live on EWTN.
I can’t wait to be able to resume our regular parish life in St. Mary Church. While we all wait these last few weeks before we can do that, I hope this coming week’s television coverage will provide a nice “preview of coming attractions” about what you can expect the next time you walk into St. Mary Church. In the meantime, for those who are able to safely attend Mass, I look forward to seeing you at St. Joseph’s soon!
Fr. John Paul