The church at the Abbey of the Genesee reopened March 25 after being closed for 10 months for extensive renovations.
The Cistercian monks living at the abbey had been discussing the possibility of renovating the facility for nearly a decade, according to the abbey’s prior, Father Isaac Slater, OCSO. The seating inside the church had been cramped and uncomfortable, especially on the side designated for guests, and the church’s layout had made it difficult for people, especially those in wheelchairs, to move around inside the dimly lit facility, he said.
After the church closed in June, workers installed new electrical and heating systems, including a heating system built into the floor. They also brought the church’s floor down to ground level, which greatly increased the facility’s accessibility, and installed new seating that will be much more comfortable, Father Slater said. Workers also improved the lighting inside the church, put in a new altar rail made from some of the abbey’s black walnut trees, and installed a new pipe organ, lectern and other church furnishings.
The general public is welcome to attend the abbey’s Sunday Mass at 9:30 a.m., daily Mass at 6 a.m., vespers at 4:30 p.m. or any of the other prayer periods, which are listed on the abbey’s website.
The abbey is located at 3258 River Road in Piffard, Livingston County.
(Click here to view more photos from the renovated church.)