La Crosse’s Catholic bishop has led a blessing for a cathedral renovation project which is likely to continue for most of the year.
Bishop William Callahan told a small congregation on Friday that St. Joseph the Workman is ‘one of the most beautiful churches in Wisconsin.’
But the 60-year-old church is showing signs of age, with stones falling from the outside walls, and damage inside the building.
Callahan and cathedral rector Msgr. Richard Gilles joined architect Steve Mar-Pohl at a news conference following the blessing ceremony.
Mar-Pohl says it’s “a dream come true” for him to work at the cathedral on the restoration project.
His team did three months of study around the building before starting the renovation last month.
Mar-Pohl says one large piece of stone fell hard enough to be driven 6 inches into the ground on impact.
The $6 million project to preserve St. Joseph the Workman, which opened in 1962, is not merely for cosmetic purposes, according to Gilles.
“I’m not having these walls restored just so we have a building as a landmark,” said Gilles. “I don’t want this cathedral parish to be a museum, but a thriving, active, growing: