This was the scene at the Catholic Church of St. Mark in Marion a couple of weeks ago as workers tore open the interior to begin remodeling. The project should be completed in mid-December.
The Catholic Church of St. Mark?s in Marion, completed in 1952, may have needed physical renovation, but there also was a spiritual renewal in mind.
?I think our goal was to make the mass experience more spiritually uplifting,? said Father Hien Nguyen. ?By beautifying the church, the entire experience becomes more uplifting.
?When we go to Mass, we want it to appeal to all the senses, the music, the sights, the significance of it,? he added.
The church also represents more than a century of traditions for Marion County?s Catholics as the unified parish for what were originally five churches in the county.
They included Immaculate Conception at Burns, St. Patrick?s at Florence, St. Mark?s at Marion, St. John Nepomu?cene at Pilsen and Holy Redeemer at Tampa.
They joined in 1993, and now share one pastor, Father Nguyen.
Davidson said the extensive renovation being done by Simpson & Associates Construc?tion Services of Wichita is a necessary upgrade after years of use.
?It will beautify the church,? said Rose Davidson, Holy Family Parish secretary..
Construction began Sept. 8 and will be completed by Dec. 10.
?The inside is being totally remodeled, with the old sacristies converted into a large gathering area, and new sacristies built in other areas of the church,? Davidson said.
Between the new gathering area and the sanctuary, double glass doors will be added, surrounded by tall windows so as to view the sanctuary from the gathering area.
The wall behind the altar will have new arches, one each over the crucifix and new statues of Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph.
Seating will be increased with new pews in a revised pew layout.
?The confessionals will be relocated and will allow for both face-to-face and private confessions with handicapped accessibility.
One of the restrooms is being converted to a handicapped bathroom.
Another parking lot will be added on one side of the church, with a new carport and ramp into a new church entrance for increased handicapped accessibility into the gathering area.
?The brick structure was in need of an updated sound system, electrical wiring, plumbing and heating/air conditioning units,? Davidson said.
?New carpet, tile and paint will complete the updated look of this house of God.?