Saint Stanislaus Oratory is in the middle of a major restoration project, undoing the inane renovations of the church’s interior that took place fifty years ago. In those confusing days of misguided idealism about an aggiornamento that never materialized (except in those rare places that actually interpreted the Second Vatican Council correctly) many historic churches in the United States were gutted of their ornate interiors in the name of the “modern liturgy.” Sadly, Saint Stanislaus, a magnificent church built by Polish immigrants in 1872, did not escape this tsunami of iconoclasm. I documented this bit of the church’s history in an older post.
Happily, the restoration project that is taking place (funded by the great generosity of parishioners) is hitting the “reset” button, bringing back the glory of the parish’s original interior design. Other aspects of the restoration, like the re-installation of the original baptismal font, can be found here. Astonishingly, a gentleman recently called the rectory to inform the parish that he was in possession of the original stained-glass windows. These beautiful windows are now back at the parish, awaiting re-installation.
Here is a picture of the new marble high altar and steps that were installed just this past week. Not coincidentally, this took place on the feast of the Dominican pope, Saint Pius V, who did so much to ensure the beauty of the liturgy at the Council of Trent. Also in the works is the acquisition of an exquisite marble communion rail from Italy. (The original rail was demolished back in the day.) The tacky carpeting will be removed and new tiled flooring installed throughout the interior. The work continues. Stay tuned.
* Update: Mike Anderson from WISN 12 News did a great report on the recovery of those windows.