TOTOWA Bishop Serratelli blessed and dedicated the new altar in St. James of the Marches Church here May 10 as part of the renovation of the sanctuary, which began two years ago. After dedicating the altar, the bishop celebrated Mass for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.
Father Patrick Ryan, pastor, said, “The renovation began to place the tabernacle back in its original location, which gave the tabernacle the prominence it deserved. Its doors were also refurbished at that time.”
The new altar made of botticino marble, replaced a wooden altar used for 40 years. The new altar matches the church’s original high altar, and its two side altars. The steps leading up to the altar were once cinderblocks and cement covered with carpet. Now the steps are made of rustico marble and the terrazzo floor in the sanctuary was replaced with sienna marble.
The presider’s chair, baptismal font, and ambry were all relocated and a small chapel now known as All Saints chapel was established. The parish also had extensive repairs on its slate roof.
The cost of the renovation project was nearly $110,000 and “it is all paid for” said Father Ryan. “The people of St. James are extremely generous.”