Last fall, Bishop Morlino made the announcement to the priests in the Madison Diocese that by October 2018, all parishes within the diocese must locate their tabernacle to a place of prominence – more specifically, at the center of the sanctuary. The bishop’s intent is to place more emphasis and reverence on the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist – to place Christ’s dwelling place front and center in all churches. This will ensure unity among all Catholic churches in the diocese.
Following Bishop Morlino’s announcement, I contacted Conrad Schmitt Studios of New Berlin, WI to work with us on creating a design that would fit the original architecture of our church, as this company worked with the original architect when the church was built. A rendering of these plans will soon be on display in the back of the church. Following is a preliminary timeline and explanation of the work that will be taking place here at IHM (pending diocesan approval).
February 15-19: The first phase of this project will be to extend the predella, which are the steps and platform around the altar. They will be extended to the back wall behind the altar. (This work will be done by Wisconsin Terrazzo of Onalaska, WI.) This process will take place from Monday, February 15 through Friday, February 19. Please note – during the week of Feb. 15-19, there will be NO weekday confessions, weekday Masses, Tuesday evening Lenten confessions, Wednesday adoration, and Friday afternoon Stations of the Cross. Due to this inconvenience, I am including below a list of weekday Mass times at our neighboring parishes. This work will be completed by the end of the week and we will be able to have our weekend Masses February 20 and 21.
February 4 through month of February: As recommended by Conrad Schmitt, to match the décor of our beautiful church and the mosaic behind the altar, the exterior of our tabernacle will be completely replated in brass to match our candlesticks. Since this means our tabernacle will be taken out of the church, we will be provided with a temporary tabernacle to house our Lord until our restored tabernacle is returned. (This work will be completed by the Stemper Company of Milwaukee.)
February 22-26: The pedestal which the tabernacle currently sits on will be relocated to the new predella extension behind the altar. The baptismal font will then be moved from its current location to the area from where the current pedestal/tabernacle are being moved. (This work will be done by Rich Murray Granite & Marble Works of Bartonville, IL). Wisconsin Terrazzo will also be repairing the floor in the areas from where the pedestal and baptismal font had been moved.
I am happy to report that I have acquired generous benefactors from our parish who are providing funds to complete this project. We would always welcome additional gifts, should there arise any further unanticipated expenses associated with this project. If you are interested in providing a gift, please call me at the parish office. I thank you for your patience while this work is being completed. I will keep you updated as this project moves forward.