Cathedral renovations continue on schedule

BOSTON -- The restoration of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross continues on schedule, according to Michael Kieloch, the cathedral's director of communications.

The goal is to complete the project by Palm Sunday in 2019, so the building can be used during Holy Week.

"Things have been great. The project is still certainly on track," Kieloch said, speaking to the Pilot Nov. 30.

Kieloch reported that work on the ceiling level is complete. The ceiling, arch trusses, and upper walls have been refinished, and uplighting has been installed to illuminate the ceiling and stained glass windows. Much of the scaffolding that filled the cathedral has been removed, though some still surrounds the altar as work continues in that area.

With the ceiling work finished and the scaffolding gone, Kieloch said, the workers have shifted their focus from the upper levels to the lower levels. They are finishing installation of heating and cooling systems, which "will be very welcome," Kieloch said.

The restoration of the Stations of the Cross paintings has also been completed. Kieloch said they look "fantastic," appearing more vibrant after having layers of varnish removed.

For the past few weeks, workers have been repairing parts of the original subfloor and getting ready to add a second subfloor, so they can relevel the entire cathedral floor, which is required for the new stone flooring.

"The historic renovation of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is in its final stages and we couldn't be more excited about the beautiful details and quality finishes, particularly the soaring ceilings, original artwork and stunning stained glass windows. We will soon be installing the new marble floors, original pews, exterior lighting, and video and audio technologies to bring the building into the 21st century," said John Fish, chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction.

"We are so honored and proud to participate in the restoration of a building that is so important to the community. We look forward to that day when churchgoers can enjoy and experience the ministry and mission of the Catholic faith in this wonderful, rejuvenated house of worship," Fish said.

Father Kevin J. O'Leary, rector of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, told the Pilot that the renovation project has reached 80 percent of its fundraising goal and they hope to reach the goal in the next two months.

"We are elated with the progress so far and grateful to John Fish and all those who have been so generous in funding the renovations to our cathedral," he said in a statement to the Pilot.

Those who would like to learn more and support this project can contact Father O'Leary at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.