The sanctuary of St. Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church is getting a new look that will bring more traditional elements to its design.
The renovation of the church began May 14 and is expected to be complete in mid-August, Father Jarrett Konrade said.
The work has been planned for some time for the church, built in 1985 at 2901 E. 13th, said Konrade, who has at the church for three years.
“When I got here, there was already a design that had been sent to the (Salina) Diocese, and there was already talk about it,” he said.
The work will include realigning the sanctuary so it is more symmetrical, Konrade said. There also will be new lighting, tile flooring, 14 new stations of the cross, new limestone tabernacle stand, Rambo and altar. Fresh paint and refinishing and recovering of the pews and kneelers will also be included.
The work has created some excitement in the parish, Konrade said.
“Some of the items were things that people have really wanted for a long time in terms of a crucifix on the wall. It’s one of those traditionally Catholic items, especially in Ellis County, people were wanting,” he said.
The church has a building fund that is paying for some of the costs, but donations are being accepted for the renovations.
“There’s been a fundraising building campaign going of for I’d say 15 or 20 years,” Konrade said. “We’re trying not to drain our building fund to do this, but some of the monies for that will be used for this,” he said.
While some have expressed concern about how the tile will affect the church’s acoustics, Konrade said the Diocese recommended it.
“I like the elements of the sacredness of it as well as the beauty of it,” he said.
Mass will be conducted in the adjacent parish hall, which was recently renovated with new tile flooring.
Some social events planned for the summer at the church have had to be relocated.
“We time it in the summer time especially because there’s less going on,” Konrade said, but a few weddings and reunions were moved to St. Fracis of Assisi Catholic Church in Munjor, where Konrade is also pastor.
“We just put in air conditioning down there, so people are happy about that,” he said.