SAGINAW — On Monday, August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, announced plans for a major restoration project at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt St., Saginaw. The project, which will rely mostly upon local contractors, is estimated to cost $3.5 million. It is being funded by generous donors throughout the diocese.
“The Diocese of Saginaw is deeply committed to the stability and rejuvenation of the East Side community,” Bishop Cistone said. “It is my hope that the work being accomplished at the cathedral will enable us to be a stronger and more faithful agent not only in the work of the Church but in the well-being and betterment of the broader community.”
The work to be completed at the 115 year old church includes air conditioning, new flooring, a complete renovation of the basement, mechanical and electrical upgrades, interior and exterior lighting upgrades, interior plastering and artistic painting, refurbishing of the stained glass windows, improved restrooms and parking lot improvements. The sanctuary will be reconstructed to reflect the original church and a new marble altar and ambo will be installed. In addition, pews will be added and the original canvas Stations of the Cross restored.
Video from today's press conference may be seen below:
“Today, I am excited to announce that the long-awaited renovation process has begun,” Bishop Cistone said. “Prior to my arrival seven years ago, extensive plans were formed to renovate the cathedral. However, work was limited to the replacement of the roof. In 2011, I commissioned an engineering study to determine the soundness of the building and some estimate as to the cost of repairs and improvements. That study was placed on hold until the cathedral parish, like every other parish in the diocese, underwent the diocesan planning process. Once it was decided that the cathedral parish would remain, we again turned our attention to addressing the work of renovation.”
The renovation efforts are expected to take at least six months, during which time the cathedral will be closed to ensure the health and safety of parishioners. Regularly scheduled Sunday Masses will be temporarily relocated to Christ the Good Shepherd Parish at the St. Andrew Church site, 612 N. Michigan Ave., in Saginaw, beginning on Sunday, September 11.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw was established by Pope Pius XI on Feb. 26, 1938. At that time, St. Mary Church was selected to serve as the cathedral church because of its size and architecture. The cathedral serves as the center of the life of the local Church. The word “cathedral” means “chair” or “seat.” From this seat of the diocese, the bishop teaches, sanctifies and guides the people entrusted to his care. Since 1938, St. Mary’s has continued to serve as the Mother Church of the Diocese of Saginaw.
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