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A fresh look for a historic church

St. Patrick Church receives maintenance upgrades

ARLINGTON — St. Patrick Catholic Church in Arlington had to cancel masses earlier this month while major maintenance upgrades on the building were taking place.

Workers were busy filling in cracks and paintings the sanctuary walls. The wall color has been transformed from a yellow-gold to a darker teal-green color, complete with gold star accents.

According to church trustee Bob Schmidt, it’s been about 30 to 40 years since the church walls have seen a new coat of paint.

Parishioners have been working on turning the church back to its original Gothic-style design, from when the it was built around 1921.

Workers have also sealed around the church’s distinguishing stained glass windows and have added a fresh coat of paint around those areas, as well. An additional step was built on the back of the altar, which has given a boost to the church’s tabernacle, making it more prominent.

Schmidt explained there has been a great response, so far, on the changes from the parishioners.

“It makes it look nice and makes the people who’ve been here forever, like me, feel like it’s really being taken care of,” he said. “When you think there hasn’t been anything done in here in 30 or 40 years, it’s time to do something.”

Schmidt said the next project on the list will be to lay new carpet. While colors and design have been discussed, it will most likely be next year when the carpet will be installed.

When the Rev. Patrick Fixen became the church’s administrator in 2011, he made it a goal to help parishioners turn their church back to its original state.

Other changes that have been ongoing over the past year and one-half include the installation of a new back altar; replacing of the front altar and pulpit; the cross above the altar is new; a statue of the holy family has been displayed after being stored in the basement for about 30 years; construction on the bell tower took place and today the bells are working properly after being silenced for years; and new light fixtures were hung on the front altar.

Schmidt said many of the maintenance upgrades are paid for through the church’s budget, however many parishioners are also willing to donate money, time and their own efforts, as well, for certain projects.

“Half of the community is always out helping us at fundraisers,” he explained. “This community really works ... We raise a lot of money and are very self-sustaining.”

Other church news:

St. Patrick Altar and Rosary Society is currently compiling a cookbook for the upcoming sesquicentennial celebration this fall. Recipes have already been submitted and about 700 recipes will be published in the final product. The book will also include some of the stained glass window photos taken by Fr. Dominic Garramone of St. Bede Abbey and a historical prelude written by Ruth Pommier, who is also preparing a historical booklet to be available at the celebration. Proceeds raised from the cookbook sale will go toward maintenance upgrades for the church.

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