The renovation of Rochester’s Sacred Heart Cathedral is between 60 percent and 65 percent complete, according to Nick Harding, a member of the Cathedral Renovation Committee.
Harding, who serves as chairman of the architectural selection and construction subcommittee, said he believes diocesan Catholics will be pleased with the cathedral when it is finished.
“There was a lot of prayerful thought put into this design by a lot of prayerful people,” Harding said.
Doug Mandelaro, spokesman for the Diocese of Rochester, said the cathedral is slated to be completed by January or February. He noted that work is currently being done both on the cathedral’s interior and exterior. Lighting fixtures have been installed; interior painting is nearly complete; the new eucharistic chapel is taking shape; and soon, a new floor will be installed, Mandelaro said. He added that work is also being done on the narthex, or entrance area, and office wing.
Harding, an usher at Sacred Heart, said that prior to the renovation the cathedral was somewhat dark, and its design made it difficult for people with disabilities to navigate. In addition to praising the much-improved lighting, Harding noted that the renovated cathedral’s altar and baptismal font will now be accessible to people with disabilities. He also said the renovated cathedral will have restrooms that are more easily accessible to people with disabilities than they were before renovation.
Sacred Heart parishioners were slated to view the cathedral during their annual parish picnic Sept. 19, Mandelaro said.
“They’ll be seeing the new narthex and office, eucharistic chapel, music area, the location of the new (baptismal) font, the new entrance layout and the wonderful detail revealed by the new paint work,” Mandelaro said. “We think they’ll be thrilled.”
The picnic is not open to the public due to space considerations. However, diocesan Catholics will be able to preview the renovation work in the pages of the Catholic Courier Monthly. The Courier‘s October edition will contain a four-page pullout section unveiling changes to date and previewing forthcoming work on the cathedral.
When it’s done, Harding said he thinks the renovated cathedral will be “a space that inspires prayer in everyone.”
“I think it’s going to be a much more welcoming and user-friendly space that it used to be,” he added.