Easter is a Christian celebration of spiritual renewal. The excitement of that Holy Day has been elevated to heavenly heights for parishioners of a 60-year old church in Dickinson, thanks to the completion of a three-million dollar renovation project.
Saint Wenceslaus Church has been enhanced so much that Monsignor Patrick Schumacher says it would be easy to walk past many of the improvements that give this building a totally new neoclassical design.
"We knew it would be impressive, but I was surprised by how stunning it is," said Schumacher.
Schumacher initiated the the renovation project, and he isn't the only one astonished by the outcome.
Parishioners like Renae Sticka say it is so beautiful they can't believe their eyes. "It makes you want to come to church, to come to Mass, and just sit in church and look around," said Sticka.
Kelly Daniel says the new altar, murals, pews, lighting, electronic organ and the gold dome over the sanctuary make her want to come to Mass more often just to marvel at the beauty of church interior.
"I remember the first Mass we had after the renovation and I walked in and we had seen it prior, but when the music started and the lights came on there was just kinda a lump in my throat that was overwhelming," explained Daniel.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the renovation is the church floor. Fifty tons of Marble from Spain, India, Turkey, Italy, Israel, Egypt and Brazil adorns the interior including a special piece of stone from the Vatican donated by Monsignor Schumacher.
"To think that pilgrims have been coming to Rome to pray, continuously walking on this and now we can walk on it as well," said Schumacher.
Renovation work began last March, so parishioners attended Mass at Queen of Peace all of last year and weren't able to celebrate Easter or Christmas at Saint Wenceslaus.
Now that construction is complete, this week's Easter services will be even more joyous.