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For the Next Generation

This church receives much needed renovation and beautification.

15 April, 2021

Ecclesiastical Studios & Sons, the  father-and-son team of Don and Alex Wendt, specialize in service to  churches, which often gives them responsibility for preserving and restoring  delicate and precious architecture. St.  Monica Catholic Church in Cameron, Texas, was something particularly special. When they first were contacted in 2016, their bid on the statuary and altars blossomed into decoration and  beautification of the entire church interior. Time and money were tight. “Each  phase of the project had to be bid with  the exact cost and completed in tight  time frames to accommodate the  church’s schedule,” said Alex.  

 

Church Renovation Before
The Wendts' survey the sanctuary in this "before" shot.

 

Thirty years in the business has taught  these Greenwood, Missouri contractors how to plan long-term, out-of-state projects as well as to secure solace in a sacred space. “During all phases  of the project, work could not interfere  with or disrupt scheduled masses,” said  Alex. “The job site had to be kept clean  and orderly as well as cleaned daily.”  

 

Church Renovation During
Detail work in the church ceiling.

 

A relationship with the reverend  made it much more fun. “Reverend  Dimitrij Colankin would come over to  the church to talk with us, check on us  and ask if we needed anything,” said  Wendt. “He had a great sense of humor  and great ideas, was very caring, and  was always a pleasure to work with.”  Since the reverend planned to retire in  January 2021, the contractors worked  to make it a special send-off.  

The job went in three phases:  

● One: statues, altars and sanctuary  furniture.  

● Two: sanctuary walls and main arch,  lower walls in church nave, balcony,  columns and capitals.  

● The last and most involved phase:  Stations of the Cross, then painting  and stenciling ceiling arches and  alcoves.

 

Church Renovation After
The stunning transformation of the church sanctuary.

After that they painted the sanctuary ceiling above the  high altar, adding alpha and omega medallions to each wall. They worked 25 weeks, six days a  week, 10 hours a day. A letter from Reverend Colankin notes how pleased  he was — even down to the sanding! “The parish community has been enjoying your artistic work, which will  also be admired by future generations,”  he wrote.  This award, their 12th TOP JOB, is richly deserved. APC  

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