In Rochester, Minnesota, the St. Pius X Catholic Church has undergone a $2 million renovation. The project began last spring, and the first Mass in the new space was held on Christmas Eve. The congregation moved out of the sanctuary on Mother's Day weekend in 2008 in order to allow construction crews to begin the project. Until recently, the congregation had been meeting in the St. Pius X school gymnasium while renovation work in the church was underway.
Bishop John Quinn is scheduled to dedicate the sanctuary on January 24. "We gutted it and put it back together," summarized parish administrator Denise DeRienzo, who directed the project.
The Reverend Charlie Collins, believes that now, "It's a more beautiful church" after the renovation project, including the installation of a new skylight. The church is not only more beautiful, it has been safer. Asbestos was removed, and new heating, cooling, and sprinkler systems were installed.
Asbestos exposure is conclusively linked to the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. Mesothelioma affects less than 3,000 Americans each year, and the disease typically lies dormant for up to fifty years before an individual begins to suffer from mesothelioma symptoms.
Other aspects of the renovation project included new wall and ceiling coverings, improved restroom facilities, and updated wiring. The church has announced that they plan to wait until they have accumulated $35,000 to purchase a new organ and speakers for the updated church. The recent work is the first major renovation of the space since the church opened back in 1964.