Devout and highly skilled members of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Minot have been busy this month.
They demolished a wall, repaired the sanctuary and installed a new floor. Liturgical art decor was also added.
The Rev. Justin Waltz said one morning during daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament he felt as if the Lord called out from the altar, "Father Waltz, take down this wall." By the end of the day, a plan was in place to remove the wall and reclaim the sanctuary.
Skilled workers were busy in the sanctuary of St. Leo’s Catholic Church, 218-1st St. SE, this month. The result of their work is evident in this photo. The Rev. Justin Waltz is shown in the newly reclaimed sanctuary.
One looming concern, Waltz said, was the fact that the parish is still in debt for the exterior restoration project completed in late 2011. Parishioners were asked to make three-year pledges for that project.
With excitement in his voice, he said "the reclamation of the sanctuary is being done at no cost to the parish."
Although challenging, church members responded to the call for help with the reclamation. Within two days, experts, parish groups, private donors, companies and skilled workers devised a plan to reclaim the sanctuary.
"It was a great blessing as pastor to be part of this process. I was able to offer my vision of what it should look like in conformity to the traditional architecture and teachings of the church, but it was truly incredible watching the contractors, electricians, flooring experts and other skilled people make the vision become a reality," said Waltz, pastor of St. Leo's Church.
He added the project is just a stepping-stone to the greater interior renovation in coming years.
While the work was taking place, new altar furnishings were custom-designed in Rome. He stressed that everything purchased for the reclamation is being used in the final project as well.
"Not only did we not cost the parish any money; we also did not waste any money," he said.
The project time was one month. During that time Sunday Masses were held in the church but daily Masses were at Bishop Ryan Catholic School.
The unveiling of the project will be today at the 4 p.m. Mass. A parish Christmas party will follow the Mass in the lower level of the church. There will be a time of lessons and carols in the sanctuary at 6:30 p.m.