As Christians throughout the world observe the commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this week, the congregation of St. Mathias Catholic Church in Hampton will welcome the news in a now almost renovated church.
The latest part of a project that began almost three years ago under a former priest includes the painting of the ceiling, walls and wainscoting in the sanctuary and the touch-up and painting of the Jesus Christ statue, "The Pieta." That statue was previously in a corner of the church, but has been moved to more prominent area.
The Rev. Stanley Mader is the current church pastor. He also pastors St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Vermillion and St. Mary's Catholic Church in New Trier.
The painting began three weeks ago with DeBates Painting from Farmington handling the work. It was completed this past week.
"We were out of the sanctuary two weekends - we held Mass downstairs," Mader said.
The colors are probably considered neutral - white for the ceiling, and several other shades for the walls and wainscoting. In the front - near the altar - the color is maple nut. The wainscoting is referred to as "3 a.m. latte."
The previous wall color, which dates back to the mid 1980s, cast a somewhat pinkish tone to the church's interior.
As the painters worked, the pews were cleaned and then set back in place. Several back rows were not put back, partially to allow for additional space, Mader said.
The end result is brighter, lighter and more inviting.
Other parts of the project have included parking lot expansion and resurfacing, installation of a lift inside and touch-up of the Stations of the Cross.
The property for the church, at the intersection of Highway 50 and County Road 47, was purchased from Mathias Doffing for $800 more than 100 years ago. Nearby property was also purchased from Doffing for a cemetery. The property now includes the school (still operating), a parish center and the rectory.
The church was formed in September, 1900, with dedication by Archbishop Ireland. The church's centennial was celebrated 10 years ago.