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After 5 Years And $17M, St. Mary's Cathedral Reopens In Downtown Wichita

St. Mary's Cathedral

St. Mary's Cathedral will reopen after the dedication of the altar Saturday in downtown Wichita.

Father John Sherlock says after $17 million dollars and five years of planning, the sanctuary has been totally renovated, including a new baptismal, 7-ft bronze statues, extension of the choir loft and the return of the tabernacle to the front of the church.

He says there is also a significant space inside the top of the dome.

"If you look up there, you'll see that's a painting of God," Sherlock said. "A lot of people when they were scaffolding here all the way up, they said I went all the way up and I touched the face of God."

The parishioners of the diocese were entrusted with the cathedral by past generations.

"It began to deteriorate and we took it upon ourselves to be good stewards of the cathedral," said Sherlock. "And that's why we began the renovations, so that we could have a worthy worshipping space for our people." 

The service for the reopening of the 100-year-old cathedral will begin at 10am Saturday. Nearly 700 people are expected to attend.

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for News and Engagement at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.