St. Patrick Church, Wichita, renovations nearly complete

Father James Weldon in a newly renovated St. Patrick Church in Wichita.

Father Eric Weldon started it, Father Jerome Spexarth continued it, and Father James Weldon, Father Eric’s brother, completed it.

As a result, Mass has been celebrated in a newly-renovated St. Patrick Church in Wichita for several weeks, according to Father James, although the parish at the end of August was waiting for the last of the pews being refinished and delivered by a company in Newton.

Father Eric oversaw a remodeling of the arches in the sanctuary in 2006, Fr. James said, and Father Spexarth established a committee in 2018 for a church interior renovation that Father James inherited.

Three main areas of the church were affected. Carpet was removed and replaced with porcelain tile throughout the church and sanctuary. The pews were removed to be refinished and restained. And the third was wall and ceiling treatment that included paint with a blue-green theme and Venetian plaster, which is plaster mixed with marble dust, on the west wall behind the altar.

The center aisle contains an homage to the parish’s namesake, a mosaic of a shamrock with three crosses in each of the leaves surrounded by a chain-like design. The mosaic marks the location for a casket during a funeral.

Robert Elliot of Robert Elliot Studios of Wichita was the design coordinator for the work. Father James said Elliot found the imagery which was made by two companies. Mark Gross, a parishioner, put the mosaic puzzle together, which was the final part of the floor work.

Lighting was improved, Father added, with spotlights on the Stations of the Cross. New ceiling fans were also installed.