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St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Holley celebrates completion of renovations

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 February 2020 at 1:48 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Holley celebrated a rededication Mass on Sunday afternoon after about five years of renovations and capital projects at the church.

The interior used to be an ivory white color and now includes stenciling and more colors, which church leaders say better highlights the craftsmanship in the building’s interior, and also adds to the worship experience.

Here is how the sanctuary looked in November 2015 before Swiatek Studios gave the walls a much different look and new carpeting was put down.

The sanctuary was off limits for Mass after Oct. 13 through Jan. 16. During that time, many of the Holley parishioners went to St. Mark’s Church in Kendall, which is included in the same parish.

The wooden pews were taken out of the church during the project, which added a new floor and carpeting, as well as lighting and audio improvements.

The altar includes this triptych mural of three paintings about Christ. The murals are recreations of a 1497 masterpiece by Pietro Perugino. The scene is a visual meditation on the theme of the Crucifixion. Presented in the center panel are the Crucified Christ, Blessed Mother and St John. On the left, St. Jerome the translator with his lion; and on the right, Mary Magdalene with her alabaster jar.

Here is how the altar looked before Swiatek added the ecclesiastical art.

Father John Arogaysami, the church’s pastor the past two years, supported the renovations. His predecessor, Father Mark Noonan, spearheaded the capital projects, which included a new roof on the church.

The Stations of the Cross artwork which previously were at the St. Rocco’s Catholic Church in Hulberton were painted to make the scenes more dramatic.

Dominic Seitmann was among the altar servers for the special Mass that started at 2 p.m. About 200 people attended the event.

Lorraine Pera, a long-time member of the parish, cut the ribbon near the altar to celebrate the conclusion of the project.

Lorraine Pera was led down the aisle by Father John Arogaysami.

Tom Widzinski, project chairman and business administrator for the parish, welcomes the parishioners to the Mass on Sunday. He thanked the parish for supported the project with their donations and for their patience during the work.

The color palette and stylization was heavily influenced by the Leo Frohe-stained glass windows. The windows were made in 1904, when the Medina sandstone church opened. The church is in the Medina Sandstone Hall of Fame in Medina.

“You can see that the stencil pattern that runs horizontally between the capitals is quite similar in design to the amber patterns in the upper portion of the windows,” Widzinski said. “If you look up and see the barrel vaulted ceiling ribs adorned with beautiful doily like lace over the subtle color gradations, you will gain a better appreciation of these architectural features.”

Altar servers prepare to lead clergy down the aisle for the Mass.

Sunday’s Mass was a very happy occasion for the parish.

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