Once again for the diocese of Cheyenne, and the first time for me as Bishop, we have an intact Cathedral. For nearly twelve months, the Cathedral has either been under some form of restoration, or completely closed for ongoing work. Very little went untouched during this time. There were few modifications, the largest and most note able being a new baldacchino and placing the tabernacle once again in the center of the sanctuary.
Everything received a new coat of paint, there is a new tile floor in the sanctuary and the main aisles of the church along with carpeting beneath the pews and in the side chapels. All new white oak pews designed to recreate the original look now take the place of the old pews.
Several pieces of art were recovered from the original cathedral and restored, such as the Last Supper scene which is now in the front of the altar in the south side chapel which will be used for Eucharistic Adoration. A beautiful statue from the original church of Our Lady of Sorrows also now has a place of honor in the south chapel. In the back of the main worship space, two niches were created to hold the original statues of Sts. Peter and Paul. They are beautiful.
The baptistry now rests in the entrance of the church. The marble in the sanctuary was removed, and re-used in a new configuartion. A new sound system is installed, along with new ambo (lecturn) and new lighting in the sanctuary. I’m sure there are a few other details I’ve failed to mention, but you will just have to come visit for your own look.
We reopened the cathedral last night with Evening Prayer. Bishop Ricken returned to lead us in prayer. Bishop Hart, myself, along with several deacons, priests and seminarians were joined by a church full of people. Following Evening Prayer, there was a church picnic and all enjoyed a marvelous meal.
This evening, we celebrate our first Mass on this Vigil of the Patroness of our Cathedral and Diocese, Our Lady of the Assumption. We are grateful to the many benefactors who supported this restoration. We are grateful to God for a restored Cathedral which is a worthy and beautiful place of prayer for us to continue to encounter the Mystery of God and grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ. (Pictures will follow, along with this evening’s homily)