Bishop John O. Barres on Sunday rededicated the Saints Peter and Paul Church in Manorville after a $900,000 yearlong renovation done with the help of volunteers. Church staff thanked parishioners for donating their time and money to the renovation.
The service began with a blessing of the baptismal font, a free-standing basin for blessed water, by Barres, bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, who called for the water to be endowed “with the powers to sanctify.’’ He then sprinkled the church and parishioners with its waters.
“This is a day of rejoicing; we have come together to rededicate this church by offering within it the sacrifice of Christ,” Barres told the roughly 450 worshippers who packed the church. “May we open our hearts and minds to receive his word with faith.”
The sanctuary of the church at 781 Wading River Rd. holds about 300 people in its newly stained wooden pews, but two wings were opened Sunday for the overflow.
For nearly two hours, Barres led a traditional Mass interspersed with blessings of sacramentals and the building. He blessed oils and the tabernacle and rubbed chrism oil on wooden crosses throughout the church.
Church pastor the Rev. Jose Jacobs filled the building with a smoke from frankincense as he walked from corner to corner carrying the smoldering resin in a brass carrier called a thurible.
The renovation relied on volunteers for some of the work in the renovation that added 900 square feet to the sanctuary and a 2,500-square-foot community center. It also raised the ceiling of the church.
“This place is now a complete facility with community hall, classroom space, worship space, family room and place for prayer,’ Jacobs said after the service. Looking at the newly painted and carpeted sanctuary, he added, “It’s not only the space, it’s the beauty of the place.”
Parishioners said they were thrilled with the renovation and the rededication.
“It’s phenomenal. It’s beautiful,” said Mary Ann Loria, 78, a retired receptionist from Manorville after the service. “It’s one of the best days of my life.”
Matthew Schumacher, 48, an accountant from Manorville said the renovation was a needed improvement for the church.
“The parish lost a bunch of people due to the looks of the facility,” Schumacher said. “I think some will come back.”