St. Patrick in Galena ‘opens’ an early Christmas gift

Parishioners of St. Patrick Church in Galena returned to Mass in the church last month after a major renovation. (Courtesy photo)

The faithful of St. Patrick Parish in Galena gave themselves an early Christmas gift that they unwrapped at a Mass on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Bishop Carl A. Kemme blessed a restored altar in the newly-renovated church in the city located in extreme Southeast Kansas, just seven miles west of Joplin, Missouri.

A spark of an idea

Fr. Jeremy Huser, St. Patrick’s pastor, said the idea of the renovation had been on his mind for a while but that some electrical issues in the church “sparked” the renovation.

Parishioners were out of the church for four months. “We moved out on the 13th of August and started having Mass in the parish hall,” he said.

Entire church part of renovation

The entire church was refreshed, he said. The drop-down ceiling was replaced with drywall and decorative beams, walls were repainted, and pews refinished. Lighting was upgraded, carpet was removed, and the original hardwood floors were restored. The parish replaced the small crucifix hanging over the altar with a larger one above the tabernacle. A restored and renovated reredos and altar located in a St. Louis, Missouri, warehouse were installed in the sanctuary just before Thanksgiving.

“It’s beautiful, very beautiful,” Fr. Huser said. “My hope is that when people come into the church, their hearts and minds are lifted up to the Lord. It’s a very peaceful and prayerful place to encounter the Lord.
We should want to give our best to the Lord, and that is what we did, gave it our best for what we had. All for the glory of God.”

He added that parishioners are amazed at how beautiful the church looks.

A previous renovation in St. Patrick’s was completed in the early to mid-1980s.

Fr. Huser is also pastor of St. Bridget in Scammon, St. Rose in Columbus, and St. Joseph in Baxter Springs.