by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari
Saint Leonard Church recently underwent a much-needed year-long renovation project. The multi-million-dollar project, completed in December, is one of the most extensive restorations of the church since its construction in 1885.
The sensitive renovation of the historic church focused on the refurbishment of the beautiful stained-glass windows that help illuminate the church and gilt ceiling and the restoration of frescoes throughout the church. The worn wooden floor has been replaced with a white porcelain floor. All plaster work has been restored and new wiring has been installed with lighting enhanced by new ceiling fixtures. A major change is the arrangement of handmade pews to form a center aisle and the elimination of side aisles giving the church a spacious and uncluttered look. Parishioners and visitors familiar with the church will recognize the marble altar, once located in Saint Antony Chapel, now completely restored and gracing the sanctuary of the renovated church. Elements of the railing in the former lower chapel have been incorporated into a magnificent Baptismal font and a podium both surmounted by white marble.
Special attention has been given to people with disabilities with access ramps throughout the church and a much-needed lavatory installed for the convenience and comfort of the public. The goal of the renovation was to create an effective and accessible space of grace for the North End community and the many thousands of visitors who pass through our historic neighborhood each year.
Please join the Franciscan Friars and parishioners on Sunday, December 17 at the 12 noon Mass when Cardinal Sean O’Malley will be present for the Blessing of the church and the consecration of the altar officially reopening Saint Leonard Church. Light refreshments will be served following the Mass and ceremony.