A familiar face that has greeted visitors entering St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica since the late-1980s is getting a facelift.

Published in Features

Blending the medieval with the contemporary in the rebuild of Notre-Dame Cathedral will be daunting, said the lead architect on the restoration of Toronto’s St. Michael’s Cathedral.

Published in International

WINDSOR, ONT. – The Diocese of London has pledged $1 million towards the restoration of Ontario’s most historic Roman Catholic Church, mothballed due to safety concerns over the past four years and not in active use since 2004.

Published in Canada

A wall of secrecy doomed two successive fundraising campaigns to restore one of Canada’s most significant historical churches in Windsor, Ont., an independent inquiry has found.

Published in Canada

LAKEWOOD, Ohio – St. Elizabeth of Hungary stands tall, the bread in her right hand, a gift to the poor, looks like it may have just come from the oven. The roses at her waist, visible from an opening in her cloak, are a symbol of God's protection.

Published in International

JERUSALEM – Having just undergone an extensive restoration, the site of Jesus' tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is at risk for significant structural failure if nothing is done to reinforce its foundations, scientists have said.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY – One of the jewels in the Vatican Museums will reopen to the public after a $2.4 million makeover to make it earthquake resistant.

Published in Arts News

VATICAN CITY – Art restorers toiling on the sumptuous 500-year old apartments of Pope Alexander VI, are rediscovering a Renaissance artist who left his mark on the pontificate of a controversial pope.

Published in Vatican

It’s a tale that everyone who has done a home renovation can understand. As the restoration of St. Michael’s Cathedral grew from a simple bathroom installation to a full-scale restoration, one common phrase was often repeated: “the building will tell us what it needs.”

Published in St Michael's Cathedral

BETHLEHEM, West Bank – An Italian team has completed restoration of Crusader-era mosaics in the Church of the Nativity, but the mosaics will only be unveiled publicly after work on lighting, electricity and the fire alarm system is also finished.

Published in International

JERUSALEM – For the first time in 200 years, experts have begun a restoration of the Edicule of the Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where, according to Christian tradition, Jesus was laid to rest after His crucifixion.

Published in Faith

TORONTO -  St. Michael’s Cathedral will soon be filled with Christmas worshippers but in the early days of Advent the empty church is in the care of artists and craftsmen whose skilled hands are restoring the cathedral to it former splendour.

Published in Canada

WINDSOR, Ont. - A $10-million bid to save Windsor’s historic Our Lady of Assumption Church has fallen through.

Published in Canada

OTTAWA - Canada's Catholic bishops examine the church's connection with other Christian churches in a document marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's decree on ecumenism.

Published in Canada

KEARNEY, Ont. - Everyone’s heard of seeking a second opinion for medical issues, but it turns out it can also be good for the health of a parish.

St. Patrick’s parish in Ontario’s cottage country did exactly that and today they are celebrating the completion of a restoration project that had seemed a distant dream not so long ago.

Built by Irish lumbermen in 1904, St. Patrick’s is a heritage-designated church that, engineers had said, required $700,000 worth of repairs in order to re-open after being closed for five years. The parish has just 25 permanent families and “swells” to 39 families in summer. A fund-raising drive under Fr. John Albao started strong but slowed down well short of its ambitious target.

According to one parishioner, “Fr. Albao went out every day for two years praying at the church’s outdoor Marian shrine for assistance.”

His prayers were answered one day at Holy Spirit Church in nearby Burks Falls where he met a parishioner named Brian Peever, the owner of a masonry business. 

“We got to talking and he told me he had a special feel for St. Patrick’s,” Albao said.

When Peever heard about the stalled restoration project he offered to get another estimate from an engineering colleague. That estimate came in at just $89,500 for the major structural work. Other improvements required an additional $60,000, so the original project cost of $700,000 was reduced to about $150,000.

Buoyed by this unexpected news, the parish fundraising drive was invigorated and enough money was found to repair the beams, posts, pillars and exterior masonry. Toronto’s Portuguese community had already covered the $20,000 cost for a new roof. So the church was recently re-opened.

Peever has long ties to St. Patrick’s.

“My wife and I were married there,” he said. “My son was baptized there. My father-in-law is buried there and I plan to be buried there.”

When asked if he had given the church a special rate for the work, Peever replied, “No, it was an honest quote. It was what I would have given to anyone for similar work.”

With the major work complete, all that’s left is finishing a wheelchair ramp and reinforcing the steps to the choir loft.

“The response of our regular and summer visitors has been so generous,” Albao. “It is not me who has done this. It is the loyal parishioners.”

Published in Canada